Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

My dear friends in Christ, 

Fr. Melwin and I enjoyed our retreat this past week. It is good to take a break from our many responsibilities and focus solely on the Lord from time to time. This is the theme of the Gospel this week, in the story of Jesus visiting the home of Mary and Martha. 

Martha offers Jesus and his disciples hospitality and a meal, while Mary sits a Jesus’ feet listening to Him. Martha becomes annoyed that Mary is not helping to serve the men. Jesus tells Martha not to be anxious and worry so much about little things. While they are both women of great faith, Mary recognized that spending time with the Lord is the greatest priority. Listening to Jesus increases peacefulness and calm. Then what seems to be a big obstacle melts away to a manageable task. Martha found herself caught up in a flurry of preparations and her anxiety increases the more her focus is on them instead of on the Lord. 

This week, when we become “anxious and worried over many things”, let us focus on the Lord instead. Listen to his words. Spend time sitting with the Lord. Let his peace grow in your heart. Do not allow your worries and “what ifs” to take your peace and make you lose your focus on what is truly important – your relationship with Jesus. 

Totus Tuus begins this weekend and continues throughout the week. What a great program for the children and youth of our parish! If you haven’t registered yet, there should be limited spots available in both age groups. Please keep our young people in your prayers. 

On Tuesday, July 23, there will be an informational meeting at the St Thomas Aquinas Gym for everyone interesting in singing in a special concert of Dan Forest’s Requiem for the Living on October 20, 2019. Proceeds will go toward our organ repair fund. 

Our Lady of Toledo Shrine will be showing a film documentary of Fr. Solanus Casey’s life on Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28. This is a wonderful opportunity to prepare for the next St. Anthony Society bus trip on July 30 the Solanus Casey Center in Detroit. 

The Birmingham Festival baking of nutrolls and pastries will be Saturday, August 2 at 8:30 am, with the dough being prepared the night before. The more help we have, the sooner we will finish, so bring your family and friends! 

Many volunteers for the Birmingham Festival on Sunday August 18 are needed for food booths, informational booths about our parish, St. Stephen Church tours, the Chicken Paprikas dinner, and more. Please sign up today and you will be contacted about where help is needed. 

Have you tried out the features on the parish app yet? Did you know that the daily readings and many prayers are at your fingertips wherever you go? Open the app every day and discover something new! 

Let us go out and continue to build the kingdom of God. 

Rev. Gilbert Mascarenhas SAC