August 5, 2018

18TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

THE FOOD THAT LASTS
It appears that many things produced today are not made to last. Take our modern buildings for example. I wonder how many of the buildings that have gone up in recent years in the city will still be there in three hundred years’ time. Much of what we buy, like furniture for our homes, or our clothes have a shorter life span compared to a generation or two ago. We live in a throwaway culture, even if some of what made today will last into the future.

There are probably some books or plays of our own time that will have an enduring value too. Some will be read, watched and enjoyed for generations to come. We always retain the capacity to create something of enduring value, that has the capacity to engage people not just in the present but into the future. They last because their value is great.

On our journey through life we tend to seek out what might be of lasting value because we sense that it can enrich us and make us better human beings. Having found something of real value we often return to it, whether it is a book, a poem, a piece of music, a painting or a building. We know from our own experience that what we really value are not so much objects or things but people.
A good friend is worth so much more to us than a good book, or a good piece of music, or a good painting. There is nothing more valuable to parents than their children. For those who are in love, their treasure is the beloved. Everything else is on a much lesser scale of value. We want the people we value to last forever, which is why the death or the loss of a loved one is such a devastating experience.

In today’s gospel the crowds of people whom Jesus fed in the wilderness come back, looking for him, wanting more of this bread he had provided. Jesus takes the opportunity to point them towards something more enduring. His advice is, do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life.’ The horizon of Jesus is not the mere horizon of this world but that of eternity. When he speaks of what truly lasts he means what it is that lasts into eternity. For Jesus what is of lasting value is not just what is remembered for generations, but what will continue to have value in eternity. It is hard to keep that horizon of eternity before us, especially in these times when our universe seems so all absorbing. Yet the horizon of Jesus is the horizon of eternity. Certainly, he takes this earthly life very seriously; he has invested himself in showing us how to live in this life, by his teaching, his way, relating to others. He gave himself over to meeting the basic needs of those he met. He healed the sick; he comforted the bereaved; he fed the hungry; he befriended the lonely. He told us to do the same and declared that what we do for others we do for him. Yet, all the time the backdrop was an eternal horizon. In living in this way, we are preparing ourselves to live forever. Those who live by the values of the kingdom of God will inherit the kingdom of God.

When Jesus called himself the way, he meant the way to live under God’s influence; he shows us how to live this present life as the way to eternal life. His message is about what endures not just into successive generations but into eternity. Since human beings were created by God to live forever, Jesus came to show us how to gain that eternal life and to help us on our way to it. In a great metaphor, he speaks of himself as the bread of life who nourishes us into eternity. If we stay with him our deepest hungers and thirsts will be satisfied in this life and more fully in the next. When we wonder about what endures, we should think first of Jesus. He is the gateway to enduring life, for ourselves and for all we love and value.
Fr. Matt
plus

RESTORATION UPDATE JULY 2018
Dear Parish/School Organizations,
The restoration and construction process update due to the fire on January 11, 2018 that I shared during announcements on the weekend of July 14/15 is as follows:
• We now have use of the Molloy Center except for Marian Hall.
• Marian Hall suffered extreme smoke damage and is currently gutted to the studs.
• Restoration of Marian Hall must happen simultaneously with the construction of the Kaleidoscope Building because they share a common roof and two walls.
• The new Kaleidoscope Building which replaces the one that was unsalvageable and demolished is designed and ready for construction. We intended to begin construction this summer, but we are thwarted due to ongoing insurance issues. This is a normal part of the process of post fire restoration which takes time.
• Marian Hall will not be available until construction, restoration and inspections are completed in the future.
• Be assured that every effort is being utilized to speed the process, but we are dealing with situations which we cannot change.
• We will do all that we can to accommodate our spiritual, social and service ministries until the restoration and construction project is complete.

Thank you for your patience and I offer you once again, the prayer that seems to be our way of life these days.

God grant us the serenity
to accept the things we cannot change;
courage to change the things we can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Yours in Faith,

To read complete bulletin click here