For great is the LORD and highly to be praised; awesome is he, beyond all gods. For all the gods of the nations are things of nought, but the LORD made the heavens.

Wow, a lot going on today.  It is the memorial of St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine.  Through her fervent prayer (for 17 years) she was to turn her son away from his life of sin and convert him to the faith.  Not only did she succeed in that, she was also able to convert her pagan husband and mother-in-law to the Catholic faith.  If you have time today, look her up on the internet and read about her life.

Today is also the feast of Jerome.  NO, not St. Jerome, my oldest son Jerome who turns 28 today.  As is typical of my son, I’ll have to buy him a lunchable – the one with a Capri-sun and a box of nerds.  Happy 28th today son.  Hope you have a great day.  I can’t do lunch with you but we are going to the ball game on Wednesday.

Two thoughts to ponder this morning.  One is a follow up on a homily given yesterday at our 11:30 AM Mass by a visiting priest – Fr. Mark Hoffman.  He basically asked the congregation, in the midst of all that is going on in the Church, to not abandon the faith.  Our dedication to the Church is needed now more than ever.

Our second reading tells us that Christ sanctified the Church, His bride, making her holy and without blemish.

Brothers and sisters:
Live in love, as Christ loved us.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.

We must always remember, the Church is the bride of Christ.  The Church will always be holy and without blemish.  It is we who bring shame to ourselves – not the Church.  We are all sinners and we are in constant need of forgiveness.  Just as Christ implores me to love my wife – through times that are both good and bad – I must also remain faithful to my Church – through times that are both good and bad.  Just as I turn to God in prayer to be a good and faithful husband, I must also turn to God in prayer to be a good and faithful disciple.  Just as I would give my life for my wife, so must I give my life to Christ’s bride.

In light of all the current scandal, I see the first reading acting as a word of encouragement for all those who were abused.  Such is the beauty of the bible.  Words written a millennia ago still hold meaning to the faithful today…to all those who have been abused and have carried that burden, I offer today in my prayers the following words from the second letter to the Thessalonians on your behalf:

We ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters,
as is fitting, because your faith flourishes ever more,
and the love of every one of you for one another grows ever greater.
Accordingly, we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God
regarding your endurance and faith in all your persecutions
and the afflictions you endure.

This is evidence of the just judgment of God,
so that you may be considered worthy of the Kingdom of God
for which you are suffering.

We always pray for you,
that our God may make you worthy of his calling
and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose
and every effort of faith,
that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you,
and you in him,
in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.

Do something great for our Lord today – pray for all victims of abuse.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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