Fr. Ron Serban - 11/08/2019

Wisdom 18:6-9; Psalms 33:1, 12, 18-19, 20-22closePsalm 33:1 The Steadfast Love of the Lord 33:1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Psalm 33:12 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
Psalm 33:18-19 18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 33:20-22 20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (ESV)
closePsalm 33:1closePsalm 33:1 The Steadfast Love of the Lord 33:1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright. (ESV)
The Steadfast Love of the Lord 33:1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
Psalm 33:12closePsalm 33:12 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (ESV)
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!
Psalm 33:18-19closePsalm 33:18-19 18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine. (ESV)
18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.
Psalm 33:20-22closePsalm 33:20-22 20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (ESV)
20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. (ESV)
; Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19closeHebrews 11:1-2 By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. Hebrews 11:8-19 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (ESV) closeHebrews 11:1-2closeHebrews 11:1-2 By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. (ESV) By Faith 11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. Hebrews 11:8-19closeHebrews 11:8-19 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (ESV) By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore. 13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. 17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. (ESV) ; Luke 12:32-48closeLuke 12:32-48 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. You Must Be Ready 35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (ESV) closeLuke 12:32-48closeLuke 12:32-48 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. You Must Be Ready 35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (ESV) 32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. You Must Be Ready 35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 41 Peter said, “Lord, are you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 And that servant who knew his master's will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating. 48 But the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, will receive a light beating. Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. (ESV)

…..from your Pastor’s Desk

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much….”

When Jesus says these words about us, two questions immediately arise. First, what has Jesus entrusted us with? Second, what therefore will be required of us?

Each of us, naturally, has been given the gift of life. In our day and age, this is not a gift that we ought to take for granted. Still, when we thank God each day for the gift of life, what exactly are we giving thanks for?

Human life has two parts to it: body and soul. Like the lower forms of animals, we have bodies that are subject on the one hand to hunger and physical pain, and on the other hand to the pleasures of good meals and the process of physical healing.

However, unlike the lower animals, we humans can find meaning even in bodily suffering and pain. Yet we can discover this meaning only through our souls. The human soul is the means through which we can, if we choose, rise above being merely an animal. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much….” God has entrusted each of us with a human soul, and that’s not a gift to be underestimated.

In the beginning”, “God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness….’” In those words, we hear how much God has entrusted us with, in giving each of us a human soul. The human soul is given to a person at the moment of his or her conception: that moment when the human body starts to exist from the gifts given by the father and the mother. But while the human body comes from a child’s parents,
the human soul comes directly from God at that moment of conception.  So what about that soul: what kind of gift is it that God gave each of us at the moment of conception?

If there’s a single word that sums up the power, the meaning, and the aim of the human soul, it’s the word “transcendence”. The human soul allows us to transcend ourselves. There’s nothing more boring, numbing, and deadly than to live for oneself. Unfortunately, the message of the world around us is to do just that: to live for oneself. But Christ calls us to live for others. The powers of the human soul, when animated by God’s grace, allow us to live for others and to rejoice in doing so.

Here is what God requires of us: to transcend ourselves in living for others, both the others who are our neighbors, and ‘The Other’ who is God. Living for others means loving those others. This is a high bar, of course, that God has set for us. Everything that’s sinful in us inclines us to live for ourselves, because living for ourselves is so much more comfortable. But God did not make us for comfort. If you doubt that, look at the crucifix. As a saint once said, “The crucifix is the true answer to every heresy.

The fathers of the Church at the Second Vatican Council declared that “it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man truly becomes clear.” In other words, “Look at the crucifix.” If you want to know what it means to be human; if you want to know what we are meant for; if you want to know the antidote to human misery, selfishness, and frustration with the meaningless of living the good life of comfort: look at the crucifix.

The soul is a vessel of grace. Grace is the power of God’s life that makes us strong enough to clear that very high bar that God has set for us: the bar of living for others instead of for ourselves. “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much….” God has entrusted each of us with soul and body in order to offer those up each day for others. The crucifix shows us how. The Eucharist gives us the strength to do so.

Fr. Ron
Father-Ron-head-shot-182x300

 

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