22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
Dear Epiphany Family,
This past Tuesday was a very difficult day to say the least (August 18th) for so many in our diocese. The shocking and horrific news of abuse perpetrated by one of the priests in the diocese is devastating. It has been very painful for me personally as I served one year with Fr. Zacharias in Fremont and I had no clue whatsoever that anything was going on. Today’s gospel (as I write, 21st Sunday, August 23rd, Matthew 16:13-20) was very timely. In it Jesus reminds St. Peter that the “gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it [the Church]” (Matthew 16:18). The Church has suffered so much throughout the centuries yet Jesus’ promise remains. It has been said that if the Catholic Church was not Divinely founded, founded by Christ, it would have been destroyed long ago. Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and pray for healing, peace, justice, and mercy for all those affected.
It was a great joy to celebrate confirmation on Saturday, August 22nd, for 11 of our young people. In my homily I used a quote from Pope Benedict – “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness”. It is the Holy Spirit that abides in, guides, and strengthens us to face these challenging times in following Jesus. The greatness we are called to involves surrendering our lives to Him, making ourselves small, allowing Him to transform us as we make a gift of ourselves to God and others each day. Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of the faithful and renew the face of the earth!