This weekend we celebrate the Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. We welcome Deacon Larry Deford who was ordained to the Diaconate by Bishop Cistone on June 11 of this year. Each deacon has a mentor and, since Father Jim Bessert is Deacon Larry’s mentor, from time to time (on a Sunday or a weekday), he may be celebrating liturgy with us and serving in the role of deacon within the celebration of Eucharist.
The Gospel passage this Sunday presents us with a parable. Once again, Jesus is trying to send a message to the chief priests and elders who are accepting neither him nor his message. The parable is about a landowner who carefully plants and devotedly tends to his vineyard. He leases the vineyard to tenants and leaves it in their care while he goes on a journey. When the landowner sends his servants to collect the produce, they are mistreated: beaten, killed, and stoned. When this continues to happen each time servants are sent to the vineyard, the landowner sends his own son, thinking the tenants will respect him. However, they even kill the son. In the last line of the Gospel passage, Jesus tells the chief priests and elders, “…the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to people who will produce its fruit.” All of us, who have accepted Jesus and his teachings, are co-workers in the vineyard, the kingdom of God. We have been entrusted with the responsibility of bearing fruit, good fruit, fruit that benefits the kingdom: goodness, love, truth, respect, generosity – which lead to life, to respect for life and to Christ Jesus who is Life.
As you know, the month of October is dedicated both to Respect for Life and to the Rosary. Saturday of this weekend was the Memorial feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Throughout this month, as has been the custom, in addition to weekdays, the rosary is prayed (led by members of the Rosary Altar Society) before Mass each Saturday at 3:15 PM and Sunday at 8:45 AM. Please join them in prayer this month, offering the rosary for a greater respect for life from conception to natural death within our society, culture, and world.
I encourage all to support our upcoming celebrations and events this October. Please join us for Mass and brunch on Sunday, October 22, the Feast of Saint John Paul II, our parish patron. As his feast falls on a Sunday this year, we are permitted to celebrate it with its proper prayers and Scripture Readings in place of the Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Let us pray that, like Saint John Paul II, we may “Open wide the doors to Christ” and become a parish which appreciates and values his “five loves”: the Eucharist, the Cross, the Virgin Mary, human love, and young people. The second event I encourage you to support is our Fall Craft and Vendor Bazaar on Saturday, October 28 with your presence, your donations, and your willingness to help out in various ways (greeters, luncheon, bake sale, raffle tickets, set-up, clean-up, etc.). I thank you in advance for your support of these two events.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ