“In your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.” Lord, you are exalted over all.

A couple of powerful messages in Today’s Readings.  the first reading from 1 Kings has the passing of David.  What a beautiful message he leaves to his son in this reading.

“I am going the way of all flesh.
Take courage and be a man.
Keep the mandate of the LORD, your God, following his ways
and observing his statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees
as they are written in the law of Moses,
that you may succeed in whatever you do,
wherever you turn, and the LORD may fulfill
the promise he made on my behalf when he said,
‘If your sons so conduct themselves
that they remain faithful to me with their whole heart
and with their whole soul,
you shall always have someone of your line
on the throne of Israel.’”

I love the fact that this message is given for me to read this morning so near to the anniversary of the death of my father.  Unfortunately, the only throne I am in line for is located about 3 feet from my bedroom door.  But I will never forget the last words my father spoke to his entire family standing at his bedside when he passed.  He mustered up his last breath and spoke three simple words to us…”I love you.”  I love you too Dad.  I hope I have the same courage as you did and can be the man that you were.

The second message in our readings today is given to us in the Gospel.  I will get to my point – eventually.  Here in St. Louis, for a number of years now, we have had an issue to deal with – a number of parishes that have either been closed or merged together.  A couple of issues have caused this.  First, many Catholics have migrated West and moved from a very densely Catholic populated areas – South City, North City, Florrisant…you get the idea.  Moving out West they can’t build large enough churches to hold the growing congregations but with that leaves empty pews at the older parishes.  With that, the Archdiocese has moved many of the priests to these growing parishes, again leaving few priests to guide the dwindling flock in these areas.  I support the Archdiocese in making these tough decisions.  One of my main reasons is supported in today’s Gospel…

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two
and gave them authority over unclean spirits.

Very few men have been called by God to live alone, as we hear proclaimed today.  Companionship, especially in carrying out God’s mission, is key.  I don’t like the fact that many of our parish priests are living alone – some in some rather large rectories – and don’t have the companionship necessary to keep the mission rolling.  My thoughts are not the thoughts of all, but I don’t loose sleep when a parish is shuttered or consolidated.  The Archdiocese is not cutting anyone off from Mass or the sacraments, although they may be making it a bit more inconvenient for some to get to a church.  My advice to those who’ve been inconvenienced, drive the extra few minutes – heck, drive the extra 20 minutes to get to your new church.  The building may be different, but the message, the meaning, the sacrifice, the sacraments are all the same.

I must say that these thoughts are mine and not necessarily reflect what others think about the message in Today’s Gospel.  My message to all is the same though…

Do something great for our Lord today – read and reflect on our readings for the day.  Let the Holy Spirit guide your thoughts and help put those thoughts into action in your life.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

He must increase; I must decrease.

Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.

But you man of God chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

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