Fr. Stan’s Article
I like to brag that I once had coffee with Sparky Anderson, the former manager of the Detroit Tigers. He had just finished addressing the students of St. Ladislaus High School, so the principal invited us for coffee and cake. Mr. Anderson said that he felt sad for some of the younger players in professional baseball who were receiving huge signing bonuses and salaries but lacked the wisdom to use their wealth wisely. Sadly, their wealth often got them in trouble.
Jesus is sad in today’s Gospel reading for the young man that rejects His invitation to come follow Him. That young man wanted to know how to get into heaven. Jesus pointed to the commandments which the young man said he followed. But when Jesus suggested that he sell everything, give to the poor, and follow Him; the young man went away sad, for he was very wealthy.
Today’s Gospel passage presents a formidable challenge to those whom Jesus invites to be His close companions. Wealth is a goal our society encourages us to pursue. It offers comfort, security, power, prestige and influence. Giving up everything we have for the sake of the poor seems irrational. Yet we know that death will take it all away. Jesus invites us to pursue that which will last beyond death. Spending ourselves and all we have on behalf of others gives us life that will last. Each of us today is invited to seek wisdom in order to discern infinite values versus temporary ones. Each is given a spirit to use our time and talent in ways that build God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. We shouldn’t let what we have own us.
I’m very grateful for your best wishes, cards and gifts on the occasion of my 72nd birthday. God has greatly blessed me all these years and I’m happy that I have been able to spend fifteen of them with you here at St. Mary’s. I hope that my ministry has inspired you to find your calling and inspired you to be a joyful missionary of Christ. Together we witness to God’s love and mercy and bring His healing and forgiveness to others.
On Sunday November 4th at the 11:00 Mass we will welcome parishioners from three urban parishes. Following Mass we plan to share fellowship with them and engage in a conversation about what continues to separate and divide us. Archbishop Vigneron continues to encourage us to unmask the hidden racism that creates conditions of fear and suspicion.
Peace and joy,