The gospel passages last Sunday and today remind us to maintain a faith perspective regarding life and our relationship to the material world. Last Sunday’s gospel taught us that “life does not consist of possessions” and we should strive to grow “rich in what matters to God.” Today’s gospel reminds us of life’s fragility, for “at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Many so-called “bible prophets” have made a career out of interpreting the signs of the coming end of the world, revising them constantly as this supposedly imminent catastrophe fails to occur. What really matters is how we live each day and prepare for what is certain to come: our own individual departure from this world. Each day we are to be vigilant servants living in virtue and charity, who will be blessed when the Master comes and knocks, as opposed to those who deserve punishment for trying to get away with as much as they can and then are caught off guard when he comes. The daily practice of the faith—prayer, the sacraments and works of charity—is all he asks of us.
“Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” (Second Reading) It is the power to comprehend the deeper meaning of life, to contemplate mystery, to know God. It is the guiding light of vigilant servants, who “look forward to [the Lord’s] second coming.” (Cf. Eucharistic Prayer III) We are called to be people of faith.
Thursday of this week, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and a holy day of obligation. Masses for the holy day will be Thursday at 8:30 AM and 5:30 PM at St. Charles, and 7:00 PM at St. Peter. This feast reminds us of our belief in the resurrection of the body professed in the Apostles’ Creed as well as the unique privilege of Mary, who gave the Son of God his human nature so that he might become our redeemer.
I did manage to get some oats cut and shocked on Thursday, August 1. My cousin John Gorman drove the 1941 Farmall H and I rode the binder. My cousin Michael Nee, a retired botanist whose father, Harry, had a threshing machine and continued to use it long after others had gone to combines was there and schooled Jeff and Charline Myers from St. Charles in the art of shocking. We had a nice afternoon with lower humidity and the job was finished without overtaxing anyone. If all goes well, I hope to get the oats loaded up later this week to get them off the ground and under cover for a threshing on August 31.
I cannot believe how many people are turning to gun violence against innocent people to express their rage for who knows what, even right in our own “back yard.” Let us pray for all victims of violent crimes and for the conversion of those who look to violence to achieve their ends. Pray also for good weather, and for protection from damaging storms and floods.
May God bless his people with peace.