August 18, 2019 – 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I.  Lighting A Fire Under You and Me!  Imagine, if you will, Jesus standing at the ambo in church or physically walking among the pews. What would Jesus say to you and me?
         To some, Jesus would say, Peace! You are grieving the loss of a loved one, a job, a failed marriage, a broken relationship, etc.  Peace!”

         To some Jesus would say, “Let go of your anger, your bitterness, your fear—you’re killing yourself! Put your trust in Me.”

         To those who are weary, losing heart, depressed, down, and tired to the bone, “Jesus would say, “let Me be your strength.”

To others who are snug, comfortable with ‘the status quo,’ spiritually stagnant, coasting along in relationships, being pulled down with an addiction, hoarding your time talent or treasure, lukewarm in faith, Jesus would say, “I have come to bring fire to the earth.  How I wish it were ignited (cf Luke 12:49-53).  I have come to light a fire under you, to unhinge and unsettle you, to disturb and discomfort you, to upset your applecart.”

II.  Off and Running! This past weekend 139 packets of 10 tickets (at $10 each) were taken for our St. Stephen Cathedral Dedication Anniversary Raffle which will take place on Saturday, September 21. Our goal is to sell 3000 tickets or 300 packets, and we are 46% of the way there! 

     We have 3 CASH prizes, one week at New Smyrna Beach (Florida), one week in Panama City Beach (Florida), a weekend Getaway at a Lake Cumberland cabin, overnight and dinner at Farmer and the Frenchman in Henderson, Symphony tickets plus $100 gift certificate for dinner at Famous Bistro, $100 Gift Card at Owensboro’s new Malco Theater. However, I know (intuitively, of course) the one you really desire is the “Dinner for Four” hosted by Fathers Jerry and Sinoj! Drop by the office (8:30a to 4:30p), sign a packet out in the church vestibule—pick up your tickets!!!

III. Happiness is…?  According to the philosopher, Aristotle, to be happy each person has everything he/she truly needs. But Aristotle pointed out that most people believe happiness is what each thinks it is for themselves, when, in fact, it’s pretty much the same. The psychologist, Daniel Gilbert, said, “People believe that we are unique and that other people’s experiences are a poor guide to our own.”  A few centuries after Aristotle, Jesus said to his disciples that what you treasure shows where your values lay. In other words, think about what really makes you happy. Is your heart with the Kingdom of God or is it with less permanent things? Do you look for what 2000 years of tradition, experience, and wisdom tell you will make you happy, or do you look only to yourself?

IV.  Helping Refugees at Border: On August 8th in Minneapolis at the 137th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, Supreme Grand Knight Carl Anderson announced an initiative to support refugees at the US/Mexico border. “Let me be clear: this is not a political statement. This is a statement of principle,” said Anderson. “As Catholic men and family men, we are all deeply concerned for the plight of the refugees who have fled their homelands into ours. Their need is great—but the compassion of our Brother Knights is greater still.” “While recognizing that individual councils close to the border have already responded with food, water, clothing and other needs, our organization as a whole will begin supporting these efforts. We are prepared to commit at least $250,000 immediately in humanitarian aid for refugees to the Southern Border, and are prepared to expand it. . .with additional resources” when necessary.”

“To set the earth a blaze,O God, your Son submitted to a baptism into death, and from his cup of suffering you call the Church to drink.
Keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and give us strength in time of trial to run the race that lies before us.”