This weekend, Saturday, October 9th, I will be running the Little Apple Marathon (26.2 miles) held in Manhattan, KS. This will be my 11th marathon. I’ve run one a year for the past 11 years. I have to train a lot to achieve this. Looking at my Garmin, I’ve run well over 1,000 miles since my last marathon, averaging around 3 miles a day (but I run different distances on different days). The past month of September, my peak training, I ran 151.5 miles, averaging 5.1miles a day. In order to finish my marathon, it takes all of this training. I have plenty of days I’d rather not run, and many days I’m so busy doing priest stuff, I have to get up earlier or sometimes even go out for a run late in the evening to keep up with my training. It eats up a lot of my free time. Another way to say all that is that I have to make many daily sacrifices to run my annual marathon.
How much more so is the good race of faith! In order to achieve great things for God, it takes lots of daily sacrifices from lots of people to make Prince of Peace a great parish home of faith and love. Those sacrifices are made by you and me for the Lord. Gifts of time and talent, energy and effort. It is impossible to quantify all that, but I see so many people sacrificing so much to do great things here—staff, teachers, volunteers, etc.. Today, we do quantify one measure of sacrifices made. In this bulletin you will find our annual financial report. As you can see, it does take a lot of financial resources to operate our parish and school and many ministries. I know that many of you make financial sacrifices for this. Thank you!
Imagine what is achieved by all this. It is not a silly 26.2 mile race, but we are helping people on the journey to heaven, to eternal life—offering Sacraments, catechesis, evangelization, formation, education, assistance, and so much more. I wish we could see all the good things happening at Prince of Peace with the eyes of God. I know God is pouring out graces through many human earthen vessels. But I also know, we could and should do so much more! The need is great. The harvest is abundant, but laborers are few. However, I am incredibly grateful for all the acts of stewardship—call it sacrifice or discipline or whatever! Thanks be to God and thanks be to you for all that you do. To conclude, I include my favorite “running” verses from the Bible. As I run my marathon, I will be praying for all the parishioners. Please pray for me too! And keep those Rosaries going in our renewed tile campaign to pray a Rosary for every parishioner!
Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24–27)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. (Hebrews 12:1–4)