• Fr. Daniel Gifford

RECEIVING HIM IN FAITH

Dear St. Louis Parishioners,

Am I the only one who missed the color green?! After months of wearing violet (Lent),

white (Easter) and the occasional red (Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Pentecost and the Feasts of Martyrs), we hung onto the white vestments for two straight Sundays of “movable feasts”, situated in the Sundays after Pentecost. Now, we finally return to the green vestments for Sundays in Ordinary Time. So, we look to our Gospel for this

weekend, and we are reminded of the example set by our Blessed Mother, Mary, the Queen Mother of the King of Kings. One might be tempted to misinterpret the words of Our Lord as somehow dismissing the importance of Mary. This interpretation, however, would be unfaithful to the content of the Gospels themselves, as we see in the story of the Annunciation (Luke 1) how Mary beautifully fulfills that to which Our Lord is calling us all. She ‘does the will of God,’ heedless of the challenges and even the shame it would cost her, as outside observers would not understand that the situation of this young unwed mother is indeed the work of God. The Annunciation is depicted for us in the window (front cover) in the front corner of the Western wall of the Church, very near the Statue of our Blessed Mother. It is good timing to consider this window, not only because of Our Lord’s subtle allusion to it in the Gospel, but also because we find ourselves in the first Sunday after Corpus Christi! What does the Annunciation have to do with Corpus Christi? In the Eucharist, we experience something very much like what Mary experienced. The Lord wants to come and live within us, we receive Him in faith, and He indeed dwells within us. It is a profound gift. In fact, it is the greatest gift that we can receive in this life. Not unlike Mary, the choice to receive Him requires an act of great faith. As I focused on last weekend in the homily, our “Amen” at the reception of Holy Communion is not to be taken lightly. It is our consent, our free choice, to enter into this Covenant of Communion, to give ourselves to Our God, who has given Himself to us. Entering into this new life, as intentional disciples of Jesus Christ, is a bold act of faith. Like Mary, we know not what challenges and difficulties await us. Still, with all humility, we dare to take her fiat (her yes) upon our lips: “Let it be done to me according to Your Word.”

STEUBENVILLE YOUTH CONFERENCE: As I am writing this, I can hardly believe that by the time you read it, it will be less than a week before we depart for the Steubenville Youth Conference. As you may know well, any time that someone says yes to an opportunity, like this conference, to go deeper in faith and have an experience of profound encounter with Christ, in order to strive to grow in their life of discipleship, the

evil one will be hot on their tail. Please intercede with both faith and fervor for our teens and their chaperones,to be fully open to all that our mighty and glorious Lord wants to do in their lives, especially through this conference. Hopefully you have seen and heard all of the announcements about the chance to sign up to be a “prayer warrior” for the conference. Thank you to all who have already signed up. If you have not and are

thinking maybe there might be a little tug on your heart about it, please consider filling one of the last few slots. Also, remember that if none of the time slots work, you can still offer prayers for them anytime that works for you, either in our chapel or from your home or wherever! Pray through the intercession of Saint Michael, that great messenger of the Victory of our Lord over evil, as well as our patron, Saint Louis, Our Blessed Mother, and go ahead and toss in Saint John Paul II for good measure. :-)

VISITS TO THE SICK: I just wanted to post a little reminder that, if a family member is in the need of Anointing of the Sick or Holy Communion, while in the hospital, another institution, or homebound, it is the responsibility of the family to notify Father or the parish office of this. Ideally, the hospital or institution would help with this, and sometimes they are able to, other times they are limited by policies (of which they often are not in control) or by other situations. So, families should never assume that a third party is able to notify us.


In Christ through Mary,

Fr. Gifford

St. Louis, pray for us!

Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!