Dear friends on the journey,
Two weeks ago visiting priest Fr. Pat Travers shared about the Tijuana Mission Outreach program. Something he said about the readings struck me deeply. He said, “Salvation depends on the favor of God and the honest struggle to follow his ways.” Honest struggle. This got me thinking.
Taking seriously our Christian life and discipleship involves honest struggle. Today’s gospel from Luke in which Jesus outlines the radical cost to be his disciple. Simply put, Jesus is telling us we are to put our relationship with him above all other earthly relationships, accept our crosses of human suffering as well persecution for our faith, and surrender our possessions.
This is a lot to understand, process, and live out. Frankly, this is a lot to ask of us.
We have two options upon receiving Jesus message:
• Hear it and move on with our day and week, or
• Listen and really absorb it, chew on it, pray on it, and struggle with it.
The great thing about the parish family is that we can struggle together, not only with scripture but also with spirituality, our individual faith and life journeys, and our Catholic tradition. A gift of the pandemic was the increased use of technology to keep us connected. Born in July 2020 was Gospel Hangout: two weekly one-hour virtual hangouts on Zoom (Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings) where the previous Sunday’s gospel is proclaimed and then discussed. We are not scripture experts but each of us share our learnings, experiences, trust in the Holy Spirit’s guidance and honest struggle because we genuinely desire to be better disciples. We sign off with more insight, something new to reflect on, a challenge, and oftentimes a new viewpoint. I love these people and they have enriched my faith journey. Please join us or let me know how I can help you begin your own Gospel Hangout.
Our parish is blessed to have other opportunities to understand scripture as food for our discipleship journey: Monday’s Bible Faith Share, Tuesday’s Living Liturgy with Paul Ford, Wednesday’s deanery Bible study. Plus many other ministries provide the space for honest struggle: spirituality groups for men and women, prayer opportunities, support groups, service ministries, fellowship activities, formation events and much more.
The next three Sundays is our Ministry Fair. Stop by after Mass to discover all we have to offer you and all that can be enriched by your presence, your honest struggle.
We are better together.
Faith Life Minister