“Open Wide the Doors to Christ”
This weekend, as we celebrate the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, we welcome Father José Cabrera (Pastor of All Saints Parish in Bay City) and Father Bill Taylor, our favorite “Priest for Occasional Use” (as he calls himself). I am very grateful to both of them for being willing and able to fill in for Father Jim (as it is getting more and more difficult to find substitute priests for Sunday Masses). I know you will give each of them a warm welcome. It is always enjoyable to experience liturgy and homilies with other priests in our diocese. Father José will be celebrating the 4:00 PM Mass and Father Bill will be celebrating the 9:30 AM Mass.
As you know, last weekend Father Jim announced to us that he and Deacon Matt Federico would be in Rome meeting up with Matthew Gembrowski and his family. Matthew has just finished up his second semester term of studies which took place in Rome. What a great way for Matthew to spend a few days of vacation time there with his family! Please continue to pray for Matthew, Deacon Matt, and all our seminarians, as well as for an increase in vocations to the Priesthood.
Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers! Today we remember all those who serve in the various roles of father: fathers, grandfathers, God-fathers, step-fathers, foster fathers, adopted fathers, and spiritual fathers (e.g. our Bishop and priests). Let us take some special time to express our gratitude to them for who they are, for all they have done for us, and for the opportunities they provided for us to become who we are today. Many of our fathers have gone before us in faith. Let us not forget to say a prayer for them and tell them about the powerful effect they have had upon our lives.
The Gospel passage for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time is about the kingdom of God. Jesus describes it similar to seed scattered on the ground which sprouts, grows, and yields good fruit while no one realizes it is happening. When the grain is ripe, the harvest comes. Jesus then compares the kingdom with the mustard seed, the tiniest of all seeds, which becomes the largest of plants. God has planted seeds of faith, hope, and love in each of us, so that as members of his family, we might do our part in bringing about the kingdom of God. As we further reflect upon the Gospel images this week, let us personally ask ourselves: How has my life ever been changed by a small mustard-like act of kindness or care?
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ