A Message from Fr. Hurley (October 10, 2021)

News October 7, 2021

The Peace of the Lord be with You.

In this 28th week of Ordinary Time we are still facing the challenge of wearing masks during Mass. We also face the challenge of today’s scriptures, both the Old Testament Book of Wisdom and the Gospel of Mark, pertaining to our life in Christ.

I once read or heard someone speak about the challenge of listening to the Gospel. The point was made that each time we hear the Gospel proclaimed at Mass it should challenge us or at the very least make us a little uncomfortable. Our Lord is always leading us out of our comfortable lives to His life… which is eternal and glorious and beyond our comprehension!

But for us, we are usually challenged to enter more fully into Christ’s life. Today we hear the difficult words describing this reality. It is uneasy to draw on these words describing the encounter of the rich young man who seeks eternal life from our Lord: “At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad…” Mk 10: 23.

In this situation, the young man had many possessions and the Lord invites him to sell everything and follow Him. But the young man was not willing to part with the things he valued. It may seem unfair or perhaps even a penalty of sorts for the young man to give up what he valued. However, our Lord indicates the greatest wealth, glory and treasure come only with properly prioritizing our life with the Lord. If he becomes the primary focus of our lives, the most valuable gifts will follow. In fact, to worship God is an expression of this truth. The act of worship is to place what is of greatest worth in the center of our lives. The word worship means to place our total lives at the service of what is of greatest worth… worship! To quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven.” CCC 2544

This is a matter of priority. Aligning our priorities to Him is the call and the challenge. This is the good news and our Lord makes it clear with these words: “Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age…” Mk 10:30

There are many good and wonderful things in this world. Riches, wealth, honor, beauty, joy, peace, relationship, happiness, etc.…. When these things are properly subordinated to Him, His way, and our worship of Him, then we receive them in abundance, or as our Lord says… a hundred times more!

In my own ministry and life here in this parish of St. Mary I imagine many wonderful things for this parish. And in accordance with today’s Gospel message, my faith in our Lord is also leading me to first focus on Him. Our worship of Him at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our embrace of Him in the Eucharist must be our priority. I believe that by keeping these elements of our life here as our priority we will eventually come to know our Lord’s abundance of the good we can imagine.

I continue to focus on this Year of the Eucharist and other means of keeping Him centered in our parish. Our recent efforts with Word on Fire is another important means of centering ourselves on His way, His life, His Truth. I encourage everyone to sign up for the Word on Fire mission.

Fr. Hurley