22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
This week we celebrated the Feast of St. Monica, patron of praying wives and mothers desiring the conversion of their husbands and children. The day after we celebrated the Feast of St. Augustine, Patron Saint of our Diocese of Superior...Monica's once wayward son become an incredibly influential figure in the history of the Church. So many Catholics these days have kids, grandkids, siblings that we wish would come to Church...but sadly they don't; and often it seems like they never will. So what do we do with that? What do we do with our deep desire to see them encounter God and experience true conversion, along with the heaviness and discouragement of seeing so many of our words and invites fall on deaf ears, closed minds and hard hearts? Well I have an answer, I have a dream - simple, practical, powerful and real - that would change hearts and lives...and it involves YOU!
Solemnity of the Assumption
In heaven, Scripture says, we shall be like God, for we shall see Him as He is (1 Jn 3:2). Today we celebrate the Assumption of Mary, that she was assumed/taken up soul and body into heaven by a singular grace of God. Mary, by God's grace and her free will, radically followed and trusted God - she already looked like God in this life! Our call as "Christians" is to be "followers of Christ", "other Christs" - to look like Christ; we start looking more like Christ when we start acting more like Christ.
This weekend is the kickoff for our annual diocesan Catholic Services Appeal (CSA). The CSA provides incredible opportunities to spread the faith of Jesus Christ in northwestern Wisconsin - for our seminarians, for our youth, for our schools, for our parishes - opportunities that I witness and see the fruits of firsthand! I'm challenging you this year to stretch yourself in prayerful generosity to all of your favorite organizations and non-profits. I challenge you particularly this week to think what you might be able to sacrifice monetarily to support the CSA for your parish this coming year. Jesus Christ practiced prayer and generosity to the point of death; let's act more like Christ in this life, so as to become more of who we are called to be in the next!