We have been told in the gospels of the last two Sundays to “grow rich in what matters to God” and to provide for ourselves “an inexhaustible treasure in heaven.” These exhortations demand that we adopt a vision that is other-worldly, not earthbound. If we have any doubts about how to do this, we need only look at the crucifix. Today’s Second Reading makes it explicit, telling us to “persevere in running the race that lies before us, while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
When we look at the crucifix, we see our Lord who has been betrayed, abused and killed. His death brought to an end the “anguish” (cf. Gospel) he felt until his redemptive sacrifice could be offered. The Letter to the Hebrews (Second Reading) calls us to “rid ourselves of every burden and sin” which made this necessary. At the same time we are reminded of the heavenly joy to which Christ’s suffering would give way. The crucifix, the prelude to the resurrection, is a sign of hope. It is also a sign of love: “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) To adopt an other-worldly vision, then, means this: “Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.” (Second Reading) Just as earthly wealth will one day pass away, so will earthly suffering. Saint Paul puts it this way in his Second Letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” (4:16-18)
My threshing event is planned for Saturday, August 31, at the home farm. I’m hoping for a day of nice weather. A noon potluck lunch at St. Philip Church near Rolling Ground followed by a few hours of work in the afternoon should make a nice day. All who care to come are welcome. The farm’s address is 25858 Gorman Lane, Blue River, WI 53518, on state highway 171 in Richland County. St. Philip Church is a mile east of the intersection of state highway 171 and US highway 61 in Crawford County.
On Thursday of this week we celebrate the memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a fitting follow-up to last week’s Solemnity of the Assumption and is commemorated in the Fifth Glorious Mystery of the Rosary. In the Litany of Loreto we conclude by calling our Blessed Mother Queen of Families and Queen of Peace. May she be honored in every home as a model of family harmony, and throughout our nation and world as an intercessor for peace.
Pray the Rosary for peace throughout the world and for an end to the violence that has become all too prevalent in our country. Pray for those serving in the armed services from our area. Pray for families, especially those with members who are homeless, unemployed, disabled, ill or estranged.
May God bless his people with peace.