LIVE WEBCAST OF THE SUNDAY 10:00AM MASS WILL TAKE PLACE HEREWe have installed a camera system in the church and will be using it to telecast the Sunday 10:00am mass live on the screen above.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
In our American culture, one of our obsessions is that we always want to rank things, to put them in order, to know what is the best, who has the most, who is the greatest. We have awards of all kinds to select what we feels the best, what is the top, what merits the highest honor. There are Oscars for movies, Tony's for television shows, Nobel Prizes for a variety of accomplishments, Mother of the Year, World Series, Bowl Games; the list is endless. We seem obsessed to honor one winner who has surpassed all others in some way. And in doing so, we ignore all those who did not rise to the top. We always encourage everyone to strive for the number one position. Do whatever you want in life, but be the best there is at it. Of such is the kingdom of the world.
Many years ago the disciples asked Jesus a worldly question about a heavenly subject. They confused the two kingdoms. There is some merit to their question. At least they were asking about the kingdom of heaven, the more important kingdom. Too often we may ask the wrong question. We may ask who is the greatest in the kingdom of this world. We not only confuse the question, but we confuse the kingdom. If we look at how we spend our time and energy, we may conclude that we are more concerned about becoming the greatest in this world, with little thought about our position in the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus' answer to the disciples' question is typical. He always seemed to have a way of turning things bottom-side-up. What he really said was that the one who is greatest in heaven is one who may have no status whatsoever in this world. Children had no position, no power, no authority, and no influence. That's hardly the description of the greatest, according to this world. But the kingdom of heaven is different. The least shall be the greatest. Those who empty themselves shall be filled. Those who are meek shall inherit the earth. The childlike shall be the greatest.
We are challenged to look beyond the goals of this world and to invest our faith-filled energies to seek the kingdom of heaven. We are not to seek greatness as a goal but to spend ourselves serving the Master, doing the work of God, bringing about the kingdom of heaven. The question for us is not who is the greatest, but are we living our lives with the hope of being part of the kingdom of heaven?
Father Vincent T. Kelly
PRAYER OF THE WEEK
Prayer for the Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.