This weekend’s readings take the previous weeks’ themes of mercy and forgiveness to the next step: God’s generosity. Through His mercy, forgiveness and kindness, He shows His boundless love for us. He will meet us each where we are, and guide us into His heavenly kingdom if we answer His call: “Let us go to the altar of God, the God of our goodness and joy!
Marvels of Mass
Once again this week, we hear about forgiveness and compassion in the readings at Mass. Once again, we are reminded that through forgiving others, we will be forgiven; by having mercy on others, God will have mercy on us. Our gathering song brings this message to us as we come together to worship: “There’s a wide-ness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea; There’s a kind-ness in his justice which is more than liberty... For the love of God is broader than the measures of our mind, and the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
I want to give a little overview as things stand right now for our liturgical celebrations.
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) This is just part of what Jesus iterated to his disciples in this weekend’s Gospel. We sing of this in our opening song, “Take Up Your Cross”. This tune is a familiar one, Erhalt Uns, Herr, which is attributed to J. S. Bach, even though it was written earlier in the mid-1500s with a version of it found in the Wittenberg hymnal. Back in that time in Germany, most major cities and their cathedrals had their own hymnals! Anyway, this text brings to song the Gospel passage:
We continue to hear about Jesus’ public ministry in this week’s Gospel when He asks the apostles who people say that He is. He then continues to tell Peter that he (Peter) is the rock upon which He (Jesus) will build His church.
Our song at Communion, “I Am the Bread of Life” by Suzanne Toolan, reminds of Christ’s words in which He tells us once again who He is:
I am the Bread of life. You who come to me shall not hunger; and who believe in me shall not thirst.
A short little reflection for this weekend: Our music this weekend reflects one of the aspects of today’s Gospel message. Christ came for all of us.
His disciples tried to get Him to send away the Canaanite woman, as she was not one of them. Instead, He sees her great faith and grants her prayer. He heals her daughter. Our opening song sings of this – “Let us build a house where… all God’s children dare to seek to dream God’s reign anew…all are welcome in this place.” (“All are Welcome”, Marty Haugen, GIA Publications)
This week, I’m going to address a few of the comments that we’ve received from the Parish Survey that we sent out in the weekly parish email sent on July 27th and August 3rd.
Here we go:
“Open up the restrooms for emergency use.”
The restrooms are open for emergency use. They are not sanitized in between uses. You may use them, but just know that you may be touching handles, doors, or faucets that may contain germs (just like any bathroom, anytime, frankly).
We begin our liturgy this weekend singing “Gather the People”: “Gather the people! Enter the feast! All are invited, the greatest and least. The banquet is ready, now to be shared. Join in the heavenly feast that God has prepared.” (Dan Schutte, ©2004, OCP.) This song reflects upon the Responsorial Psalm: “the hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.” (Psalm 145). God has a banquet prepared for us and He is wanting to feed us, to live with Him forever.
We begin our Mass this weekend with the song “Table of Plenty” that sings of how God provides everything for us at His altar. This idea flows directly into our first reading where God is providing everything that Solomon needs when he asks God for wisdom when questioned. Turn to God, and He will provide.
We continue the Gospel reading today with another parable. During this portion of Ordinary Time, that’s what we’ll be getting for a few weeks. Lots of parables about Jesus’ public ministry.