From the desk of Fr Stephen Nov 24, 2019

Nov 19, 2019

From the desk of Fr Stephen

Today we are celebrating the feast of Christ the King. It is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next week we will celebrate the 1st Sunday of Advent. On this feast today, we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ is the king of heaven and earth. When we think of a king, we think of someone who lives in a very ornate and expensive palace and rules his kingdom from afar. But in this feast today we see the king of kings as the one who leaves his elegant palace in heaven and chooses to come among us, his people. That is the thing that is so fascinating. Jesus, who is an infinite king, decided to leave heaven, a place of infinite value, and come to live among us. That would be saying enough, but when he comes, he comes in the most humble and obscure way; and suffers, at the hands of his people, a most cruel death. Oh, how much we owe to this king of kings. May we never cease to praise his name for all he has done for us.

As you know, this is Black Catholic History Month. It has been very informative for me reading in the bulletin every week about some of the prominent black Catholics who have gone before us and how they handled adversity in their lives. It seems that they used their Catholic faith to sustain them through difficult times. I don’t know about you, but I am very inspired when I read these stories. I don’t know too much about Fr. Augustus Tolton, but I am thinking about getting his biography and reading it. These types of stories should inspire us, not just to be a better person, but also as a Catholic.

One of the things that are most alarming to me about our Catholic faith tradition is that we do not pass on the rich legacy of our faith.  Fifty years ago or more when we had nuns in the Catholic schools, our Catholic heritage was handed on to us and you got your ear pulled if you did not know the answer. Today, there are no nuns to remind us of the faith, and so I implore all of us to continue to pass on the faith to our young. Fr. Tolton, Mary Lou Williams, Lena Edwards, Llewellyn Scott, and others should be an inspiration to us. We must never give up our longing for the knowledge of God.  Remember, God has created us. There is a longing deep inside all of us that can only be satisfied when we unite ourselves to God; this can and should happen for us when we experience the liturgy or read sacred scripture or a Catholic book. We owe it to the people gone before us to pass this tradition on to those who come behind us. It is imperative, especially today when so many seem to be losing their faith. I want to be like Fr. Tolton, who stood up for his faith during persecution and was a model disciple of Christ. Have a great week!