1995 Oct 15 – 28th Sun. Ord (Bulletin Letters)
Cycle C 28th Sun Ord
2 Tm 2, 8-13
“If we are unfaithful he will still remain faithful; for he cannot deny himself.”
2 Tm. 2/13
This weekends reading from St. Paul’s second letter to Timothy has a powerful message. St. Paul is writing from jail. He writes that he is locked up and braned a criminal for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ! (In Paul’s day, embracing the Gospel of Jesus was an illegal act. Truth be know, embracing the full measure of Gospel of Jesus today can be just as illegal.) Paul proclaims that though “thrown into chains — there is no chaining the word of God!” Paul tells us that he bears all this suffering and imprisonment for the sake of the young Church he was helping to bring into being.
St. Paul believed his suffering in jail was helping to build up the Church as surely as any of his preaching and pastoring while free. Paul’s reasoning here is a good example of what the Church calls Redemptive Suffering. Redemptive Suffering comes about when a person willingly lifts up the sufferings and trials of their lives for the betterment of others. This suffering has even more redemptive meaning when it comes about for standing up for the Faith, as St. Paul was doing in jail.
St. Paul concludes this weeks reading with a bottom line assertion about what we can depend upon as bearers of Jesus’s Gospel message:
“If we have died with him, we shall also live with him;
If we hold out to the end we shall also reign with him.
But if we deny him he will deny us.
If we are unfaithful he will still remain faithful; for he cannot deny himself!”
In other words, if we give up everything for the sake of the Gospel, we’ll get it all back and than some. Even our mortal lives are returned to us for ever, if we put them on the line, in the here and now for the Gospel.
However, if we deny the Lord, he will deny us. For we can choose to be unfaithful, that is an option our human freedom give us.
But Jesus can not be unfaithful, to do so would be to deny his very self. For this we can depend upon, no matter what we do – good or bad, Jesus will always be faithful to his pledge to love and forgive unconditionally. This is bottom line good news of the Gospel message!
95 10 15
Annual Priests’ Fall Workshop
This coming week, starting Sunday Oct. 15th to Thursday Oct. 19th, the priest of the Des Moines Diocese will gather at the Mount Conference Center in Atchison Ks. for our Annual Priest Fall Workshop. This years topic is “Ministering with a Family Perspective”. I am planning on attending the whole conference. I will also be spending Thursday night in the Council Bluffs / Omaha area and return to Lacona sometime Friday. There will be no weekday Masses next week. In case of an emergency. I can be reached at (800) 467-1164 in Atchison until Thursday afternoon.
Please keep the priest in your prayers this week. It is a great sacrifice for the people of the Des Moines Diocese to have their priest away from their parishes and ministries every year for this Fall Workshop. Yet, the fellowship and education provided at these workshop never fail in making us a better community of priest and ministers to the Church.
95 10 15
Mother Teresa of Calcutta Trip Fell Through
My mother and my trip to Boston to see Mother Teresa of Calcutta last week fell through. Mother Teresa’s health is so poor that all her appointments in the Boston area were concealed. Please keep Mother Teresa in your prayers.
Understandably, my mother and me are disappointed we were not able to met Mother Teresa. I mostly fell bad for my cousin Lewis Randa and the students of his Life Experience School. They were looking forward to personally presenting Mother Teresa with one of their Courage For Peace Awards. The Life Experience School and the Peace Abbey connected with it, is truly a remarkable place. I hope to share more with you about them in the future.
95 10 15
Pentagon Charges Dropped
I relieved word from Wash. D.C. that the charges from my Aug. 4th arrest at the Pentagon were dropped. This means that I am in the clear, with no outstanding warrants or court dates to answer to.
95 10 15
Fr. Frank To Speak in Ia. Falls Thurs. Oct. 26th
I’ve been asked to give the keynote address for the Ia. Falls Catholic Reginal Catechist In-Service Program Thurs. night Oct. 26th. on the theme “Teaching Social Justice”. I plan to return in time for the 8 a.m. Mass on Friday Oct. 27th