Fr. Daniel Gifford
A Real Human Life
This weekend the liturgical calendar features the feast day of one of the four evangelists (authors of the gospels): Saint Matthew (Saturday, September 21). Since we don’t have a Saturday morning Mass, in order to be able to celebrate it, I wanted to commemorate it by a bulletin feature of the final image of the symbols for the evangelists in the rose window up in the choir loft. The Gospel of Matthew is classically represented by the image of a man, or depending on which source you ask, possibly an angel (front cover). Matthew emphasizes the humanity of Christ, especially by tracing His genealogy to Joseph. This is a mystery worth pausing to consider. Christ’s human nature, of course, comes solely from Mary. Joseph played no role in the biological aspect of His conception, as He was conceived of the Holy Spirit. Yet, Joseph’s family belongs to the Davidic line that enables us to identify Christ as the Messiah. Thus, Our Lord is the Son of David primarily because He is the legal son of Joseph. Furthermore, His humanity is about more than simply biology. In a very profound way, Joseph taught Jesus how to be a man. He formed Our Blessed Lord in the basic elements of humanity, since His childhood. I can’t help but wonder if, when Jesus was teaching about stewardship and responsibility, as in today’s gospel, in those moments, He might have recalled fondly the example set by Joseph. The image which both scripture and tradition leave us with of Joseph, as a truly just and hard working man, makes one think he would have exemplified being trustworthy in small matters. The Lord does indeed care about these small matters in our lives, the ordinary crosses of our daily responsibilities and tasks. The mystery of the Incarnation, the fact that Our Savior lived a real human life, calls that fact to mind. Let us allow the Lord to meet us in those daily responsibilities and to call us to holiness by the way that we make of our lives a gift pleasing to God. He has given us the gift of our lives. Let us give them back to Him with humility, gratitude and joy.
ST. LOUIS LIVE!: Since the Lord cares about the details of our lives, the personal testimony that each of us gives to the work of the Lord in our lives plays a valuable part in His plan for the salvation of the world. Last year, we held a unique event designed to create a creative, engaging and even entertaining environment in which parishioners could hear testimonies from a few fellow parishioners. This was our first annual parish talk show: Saint Louis Live! By all accounts, it was a smashing success. So, we are very excited to present it to you all again this year on Thursday, October 3rd at 6:30 pm. I hope you can mark your calendars to join us. Say a prayer for the guests and for the “production team” (Dave Roden (host), and Vince Gelsomino (co-host and musician) and myself (stage-hand)), as we finalize our preparations in the coming weeks. See you there!
MASONRY WORK ON CHURCH: Over the past two weeks, the masonry repair work on our church building has begun. I mentioned this in the bulletin earlier this summer, after we initially finalized the decision to move forward with this project. But, it has been awhile since that was printed and some people might have been away during that summer weekend, so I have received a number of questions about the work taking place. This project will greatly improve the condition of the beautiful stonework of the building, in order to greatly reduce deterioration and water damage. These improvements will benefit us for many years to come. The process is quite involved and will continue throughout the fall (estimated two months in total). As you have perhaps already noticed, this will sometimes result in temporarily blocked entrances and pathways, as well as a fair amount of noise, outside of Mass times. I apologize for any inconveniences and would like to reassure you all that the benefit will be worth it! If you are trying to come in for prayer in the chapel during office hours and the chapel door is temporarily blocked, feel free to come into the office and we can help you out. This entrance should be unhindered at the end of each workday, so please don’t hesitate to stop in for a visit with Our Lord.
In Christ through Mary,
St. Louis, pray for us!
Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!