The last verse from today’s responsorial psalm is a fitting prayer for this time of year, having celebrated Labor Day this past Monday. It is appropriate that we ask God’s blessing upon all our endeavors, manual or otherwise. He has blessed our country with many natural resources and our citizens with the inventive ingenuity to put them to good use. The prosperity for which the psalmist prays is the fruit of creative human partnership with God. On the farm fall is the time of the harvest, when we gather the fruits of our labors. In just over two months we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day and acknowledge God’s goodness to us as individuals, as families and as a nation.
Today’s Gospel and First Reading, however, warn us against placing too much stock in material goods. “Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Gospel) “The corruptible body burdens the soul and the earthen shelter weighs down the mind that has many concerns.” (First Reading) Again we are reminded to have a healthy detachment from material goods, for they do not guarantee life or salvation. Floods and tornados, for example, can damage property and material goods; but victims still express their gratitude to God for their health and safety. “Downsizing” sometimes leaves many unexpectedly unemployed. Yet this is not the time to abandon faith in our eternal, loving God.
Our redemption came at no small cost. This Saturday, September 14, we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. “To exalt” is “to lift up.” This feast celebrates Jesus being lifted up in sacrifice on the cross, but also the victory over sin and death that was manifest in his resurrection. Now we “lift high the cross,” so that “on the wood of the Cross…where death arose life might again spring forth and the evil one, who conquered on a tree, might likewise on a tree be conquered.” (Preface for the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) Because I think this feast is too significant not to celebrate, there will be Mass at St. Charles on Saturday morning, September 14, at 8:30. Please try to attend.
The threshing took place on the home farm as planned on August 31 despite some sprinkles of rain. The bundles were a little tough, which caused the drive belt to fly off a couple of times. Two small loads yielded 41 bushels of oats by weight, but it could have been more by volume. The bundles seemed to me to be a little light when we shocked them and I noticed the hopper on the weigher was pretty full when it dumped. There were also 61 bales of straw. It was not the yield, but the opportunity to operate the old machinery that was worthwhile. About 70 people attended with some from St. Charles and St. Peter, including some first-timers. For the “old-timers” there was a lot of reminiscing. I think it safe to say a good time was had by all. God willing, we’ll do this again next year.
Pray the rosary this week for a successful academic year. Pray for people who are unemployed or disabled, and who have a difficult time making a livelihood for themselves and their families. Pray for people serving in the armed forces from our community and, as always, pray for peace.
May God bless his people with peace.