Bottom line: Let's recover that life of prayer so we can live Jesus' words: "whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
Last Sunday Jesus gave a structure for his church. Today he gives the structure for our individual lives. For the church we have this basic framework, "you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church..."
To structure your life - and mine - Jesus says this: "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
How do we live something so demanding. Well, we have to start with prayer. During the pandemic some deepened their prayer. Others, not so much. Now, I'm not here to examine anyone's conscience but my own. I do want to say this: when it comes to prayer all of us need to make a new beginning.
Spontaneous prayer is great. When gratitude wells up in you, thank God. When you feel overwhelmed, ask God for help. Spontaneous prayer is important. So is structured prayer. From the beginning the church has recognized the need for specific times of prayer. Set your alarm early enough so you can have time with God at the start of the day. Slowly read a Scripture passage, maybe the daily Mass readings. Pray the rosary. Try the Liturgy of Hours with its Office of Readings and Morning Prayer. Before you go to bed, the Liturgy of Hours has a wonderful night prayer called Compline.
Our family faith formation and youth ministry has put together some great resources for the month of September. Take home this flier - or download it from our website.
The greatest prayer is the Mass. Even though Archbishop Etienne has dispensed the obligation, he has not cancelled the Third Commandment: Keep Holy the Lord's Day. If you cannot attend Mass physically, participate by live stream.
Some are taking vacations - including me. I'm going to Oregon for a couple of weeks. But you know none of us can take a vacation from God. If you try to save your life, you will lose it. The joy of a vacation can turn to ashes in your mouth. With prayer a person can die to self in good times and in bad.
The next two weeks Fr. Armando Guzman will be here. I'm counting on him building up the congregation both live and live stream for when I get back the third Sunday of September.
For now let's recover that life of prayer so we can live Jesus' words: "whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Amen
From Archives (for Twenty-Second Ordinary Sunday, Year A):
Seapadre Homilies: Cycle A, Cycle B, Cycle C
Audio Files of Homilies (Simple Catholicism Blog)
Are these homilies a help to you? Please consider making a donation to St. Mary of the Valley Parish.
Other Priests' Homilies, Well Worth Listening:
Fr. Kurt Nagel
Fr. Frank Schuster
Fr. Brad Hagelin
Fr. Jim Northrop
Fr. Michael White
Fr Pat Freitag (and deacons of St. Monica)
Bishop Robert Barron
Bulletin (St. Mary of Valley Parish)
Parish Picture Album
MBC - Mary Bloom Center, Puno, Peru