Dear Family of St. Augustine,
Your pastor had a family wedding in Chicago, last Saturday and Sunday. It was a beautiful expression of love and commitment and fidelity. So we got them off to a good start. Then your pastor came home and there was this United States Federation of Catholic Priests meeting out at the hotel in the county. It was challenging and uplifting to keep the wonderful spirit of Pope Francis alive where all of us try to be a little more human and loving and friendly and joyous and really get down among people and help as much as we can. That’s a challenge!
So in the Scriptures today, we see Jesus steadfastly moving towards Jerusalem which is a theme that flows especially through the Gospel of Luke. Jesus is moving toward Jerusalem to give his all and let His life go if that is what has to be done to proclaim this message of love and concern and welcoming everyone into the kingdom, if that is what they want to be. That is what He challenges us to be, that we have a freedom, as St. Paul says, that we have a freedom to be in the spirit and not in the flesh. We see ourselves being people filled with attitudes of gentleness, patience, and love. So with that we see in the first reading, the traditional story of Elijah throwing his mantle. Which was a symbol of authority, over one of his followers, Elisha. Elisha responds, “Yes, I will follow you.”
Then Jesus tells us in the Gospel to follow him, and not make lots of excuses. Don’t put it off, but follow Him right away! We are all trying to do that. We are constantly reminded when we come to church every Sunday to have a little bit more of the Word of God to rest in and to live and be challenged by. Then we also have wonderful blessing of receiving Jesus Himself in Holy Communion. So that all is well! So God bless you and keep going in this wonderful direction. Know that the Lord tells us that He is to be first. We see this in the Gospel. Don’t make a lot of excuses—just get up and have this wonderful relationship with the Lord first! God bless and love you and have a good week and a good Fourth of July holiday time.