STABILITY IN THE STORMS
Commitment. Having just finished a preaching series on vocations, the need for commitment should still be fresh on our minds. This weekend, our Lord is challenging those who would be His followers to recognize the need for commitment. He is also preparing them for the fact that it is not always going to be easy. At times, the circumstances in which they will need to seek to remain with Him and follow Him closely
will not always seem stable, calm or under control. They may encounter any number of unexpected bumps or bends in the road. This year, we have certainly experienced the literal reality of unexpected storms that we don’t always see coming. In the figurative sense, as well, life can hit us with storms that we don’t see coming and can’t control, but become the reality in which we find ourselves and we must work with what we have been given. When the waters around us are not stable and calm, it is then that it becomes most important that our commitment remains firm and unmoved. If our commitment is to be stable when the circumstances are hectic and turbulent, we must seek the One who is ever unchanging and unmoved to be our security, our stability and our strength. Indeed, the Lord is our Anchor in the storms. He is the One who holds us firmly in place, because His commitment is already decided. His choice is made and it is final and irrevocable. He is not going to abandon us. He will be our strength. This is symbolized strikingly by the Anchor window (front cover), which is in the nave, fittingly right next to the window which features the gospel story of the apostles in the boat with Christ, who is calming the storm at sea. As usual, the cross bar toward the top of the anchor gives it the appearance of the cross. The cross of Christ is that stable center, to which we must always look. The possibility of suffering is an ever present reality in our lives. Yet, the cross stands as the ever-present reminder that Christ is with us in that suffering and that it is not the end. Beyond the cross lies the Resurrection. You might also notice the rope wrapped around the shaft of the anchor, in a manner that almost seems to resemble a serpent. In the midst of storms and various trials, the enemy closes in and attempts to get us to take our eyes off of Christ, to fail to trust and to lose hope. But, the Lord is our strength. He is unmoved and the more that we learn to look to Him as our strength, we too can be unmoved in our commitment to Him.
FOURTH OF JULY: As you may know, this Thursday is our national Independence Day! This is a time both to thank God for the many blessings of living in this nation and also to pray with greater fervor for our nation. We pray for peace, justice and a greater respect for all human life, that all of our laws may be in line with the Heart of God. As usual, our Mass for the Fourth of July will be at 9 AM. This will be the only public liturgy for the day (so, no evening holy hour, confessions or evening Mass).
SEE YOU SOON: Yes, I am still away this weekend on vacation. I will be back next weekend, but will be back only briefly before I leave again. As I have mentioned, this summer, I have a number of different periods of time when I will be away. In addition to this time of vacation, I also have a mandatory retreat, a mission trip with our high school youth ministry group, and a training conference for spiritual directors for TEC. Please remember that there is one more date left, when we will not have our usually scheduled daily Mass. Deacon John will offer a Communion Services, in place of Mass, this Friday, July 5th. I want to thank Deacon John for his generosity in offering these Communion Services and in all that he does for Saint Louis Parish! In Christ through Mary, Fr. Gifford St. Louis, pray for us! Blessed Mary, Queen Mother of the King of Kings, pray for us!