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The night of the passover was known beforehand to our fathers,
that, with sure knowledge of the oaths in which they put their faith,
they might have courage.
Your people awaited the salvation of the just
and the destruction of their foes.
For when you punished our adversaries,
in this you glorified us whom you had summoned.
For in secret the holy children of the good were offering sacrifice
and putting into effect with one accord the divine institution.
Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for
and evidence of things not seen.
Because of it the ancients were well attested.
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance;
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise;
for he was looking forward to the city with foundations,
whose architect and maker is God.
By faith he received power to generate,
even though he was past the normal age
—and Sarah herself was sterile—
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was
So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead,
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky
and as countless as the sands on the seashore.
All these died in faith.
They did not receive what had been promised
but saw it and greeted it from afar
and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth,
for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come,
they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one.
Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God,
for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac,
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son,
of whom it was said,
“Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.”
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead,
and he received Isaac back as a symbol.
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not be afraid any longer, little flock,
for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.
Sell your belongings and give alms.
Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out,
an inexhaustible treasure in heaven
that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding,
ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants
whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.
Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself,
have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.
And should he come in the second or third watch
and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.
Be sure of this:
if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming,
he would not have let his house be broken into.
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect,
the Son of Man will come.”
Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
And the Lord replied,
“Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward
whom the master will put in charge of his servants
to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?
Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.
Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant
in charge of all his property.
But if that servant says to himself,
‘My master is delayed in coming,’
and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants,
to eat and drink and get drunk,
then that servant’s master will come
on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour
and will punish the servant severely
and assign him a place with the unfaithful.
That servant who knew his master’s will
but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will
shall be beaten severely;
and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will
but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating
shall be beaten only lightly.
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much,
and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
For Church leaders:
That heeding the words of Jesus to remain servants of the Master, they recognize that a leader’s authority is an authority of service.
For those who govern nations and communities:
That they may reject intimidation and scare tactics, and instead sow seeds of hope.
For the people and nation of Kenya as they hold their upcoming elections:
That the light of the Holy Spirit may guide them on a peaceful path toward a just outcome.
For those who live in fear:
May they find comfort and safety, and remain steadfast in faith, trusting God to lead them from darkness.
For our St. Monica community:
That we may prepare our hearts and minds for the reign of the kingdom of God by recognizing Jesus in all those we encounter along the way.
For those who are ill:
David Soto Garcia, Scotty, Reuben, and Ruby Stark, Blanca Meza, Felicia Bradley, Milo Fitzgerald, Judith Sallot, Father Mike Russo, Lolly Silva, Donald Okner, Virginia Costales, Lawrence and Lilo Labao, Zoran J., Rosalie Fisher, Isabelita and Oscar Agbayani, Robert Moll, John Pithey, Anthony Taranto, Eileen Falahee
For those who have died:
Franziska Eberherr, Lucy Cipriano (‘Sip-re-ya-no’), Rosanna C. Scott, Lauren Neal, Felice Fanti, Vin Scully, Margaret Curran, Matthew Warnock
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*Children's Liturgy of the Word updates on the first Sunday of the month at 8:30 a.m.
I believe you are really here in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you more than anything in the world,
And I hunger to receive you.
But since I cannot receive Communion at this time,
Feed my soul at least spiritually.
I unite myself to you now,
As I do when I actually receive you in Holy Communion
Rather than adapt, paraphrase and attempt to make it my own—I'd rather simply give credit where it's due and share with you a conversation Krista Tippett (host of the twenty-year program On Being) had with writer Kate DiCamillo that perfectly underlines this weekend's gospel and the end of summer. It speaks of perseverance—what it is to be human in difficult circumstances. It is the essence of our human life on earth: waiting, hoping, doubting—and enduring. Enjoy this except and be sure to experience the entire hour-long produced program at onbeing.org. Tippett invites DiCamillo to read a letter she once wrote from a reader:
…You asked how honest we, as writers of books for children, should be with our readers, whether it is our job to tell them the truth or preserve their innocence.
Here’s a question for you: Have you ever asked an auditorium full of kids if they know and love Charlotte’s Web? In my experience, almost all of the hands go up. And if you ask them how many of them cried when they read it, most of those hands unabashedly stay aloft.
My childhood best friend read Charlotte’s Web over and over again as a kid. She would read the last page, turn the book over, and begin again. A few years ago, I asked her why.
“What was it that made you read and reread that book?” I asked her. "Did you think that if you read it again, things would turn out differently, better? That Charlotte wouldn’t die?”
“No,” she said. “It wasn’t that. I kept reading it not because I wanted it to turn out differently or thought that it would turn out differently, but because I knew for a fact that it wasn’t going to turn out differently. I knew that a terrible thing was going to happen, and I also knew that it was going to be okay somehow. I thought that I couldn’t bear it, but then when I read it again, it was all so beautiful. And I found out that I could bear it. That was what the story told me. That was what I needed to hear. That I could bear it somehow.”
So that’s the question, I guess, for you and for me and for all of us trying to do this sacred task of telling stories for the young: How do we tell the truth and make that truth bearable?
The hosts leaves us with the last few lines of Charlotte's Web:
These autumn days will shorten and grow cold. The leaves will shake loose from the trees and fall. Christmas will come, then the snows of winter. You will live to enjoy the beauty of the frozen world, for you mean a great deal to Zuckerman and he will not harm you, ever. Winter will pass, the days will lengthen, the ice will melt in the pasture pond. The song sparrow will return and sing, the frogs will awake, the warm wind will blow again. All these sights and sounds and smells will be yours to enjoy, Wilbur — this lovely world, these precious days…
Thank you for spending your precious days as part of the St. Monica family—where all are welcome and we can all find a home. You are #StillStMonica. We are #StillStMonica.