Messages From Fr. Anthony Smith

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18th Sunday in Ordinary Time

When Jesus hears about the death of John the Baptist his reaction is to go off by himself. Perhaps we can all relate to his feelings. No doubt Jesus’ humanity felt the pain that we all feel at the loss of a loved one. Like Jesus we may just want to go off by ourselves, at times, and be alone in our sorrow, in our thoughts, and in our prayers. Jesus’ reaction to the news of John the Baptist manifests the true humanity he shares with you and me. His divinity would not negate his human experience. Jesus experienced all that we experienced. It’s easier to come to know someone when they share the same experiences in life that we share. Perhaps this is why it is so important for us to hear that Jesus experienced very human emotions and struggles. We find this in the account of the raising of Lazarus. We hear that Jesus wept. He weeps for his friend as you and I would.

In the Gospel today Jesus doesn’t get very far in his quest for solitude. He doesn’t even get a chance to put his feet on dry land and have some alone time. The crowds track him down. Here we find another very human emotion – ‘When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them.’

Jesus calls us to a personal relationship with him. Coming to know Christ can sometimes be a challenge in our spiritual life. We focus on the miracles, the great words of wisdom we find in the parables, the teaching with authority, the need for repentance, the sacraments he institutes and ultimately his passion, death and resurrection. Perhaps we fail to focus on the simple moments when he reveals his humanity. It is in that humanity that we can make an instant connection. It is in his humanity that he shares our life experiences and knows the challenges we experience each day, the sorrows in life, and also the moments of great joy. Through his humanity he leads us to his divinity and builds the bridge between God and His people. God the Father sends His Son into the world to join humanity, not to be separate from us, and in that inseparable bond he lifts us up to know God. In that bond we find God who knows us through and through. In Jesus we encounter God whose heart is moved with pity for us when we are in need. Through Jesus we encounter God who so desires to heal us in every way, God who desires to give us in abundance and, at the end of his earthly life, we find God loving us so much that he lays down his life for us. Jesus is someone we can relate to, but more importantly, he is one we can come to know and love for he became one of us so that we could come to know him. And when we come to know Jesus we know the Father, for they are One and we can’t help but worship Him and find joy in His love.

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Daily Mass
Monday-Wednesday; 8:00 AM Church

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 3:00-3:30 PM