22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 2020-A

My brothers and sisters in the Lord!

This week-end we bid farewell to Fr. Mauro as he begins his ministry to the faithful of St. John the Apostle Parish in Linden-Clark. We are grateful for the time that Fr. Mauro has given to us in ministry, by sharing his faith and love of Jesus. Persons we get to know in life do become a thread or a fiber in our lives. We learn from them, they learn from us. Fr. Mauro’s many shared experiences have touched our lives in many ways whether we realize it or not. Fr. Mauro is a true laborer of the Lord as he has a special gift of touching the lives of others and inviting others to come home to the Lord, through his preaching, his enthusiasm and love for God. Holy Family has been his true home here in the United States and he knows that he is always welcome here. Let us pray for him as he faces new beginnings and as well as challenges in his life.
We also pray for Fr. Anthony Palombo, as he begins his ministry at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Ridgewood. His time with us was cut short because of the Covid-19 but these last two months have been a blessing having him share his priesthood with us. Fr. Anthony will great as he begins the touching the lives of others in his priesthood.
Upon reflecting on the Scriptures of the day, we see that when Jesus beings to talk in terms of personal suffering and when he begins to intimate to his friends the dreadful ordeal that lies ahead of him, his best friend, Peter, wants to have anything to do with it. The very thought of Jesus being persecuted or assaulted in any way is enough to make Peter recoil in horror and rebel against the reality of it ever happening. The very thought of Jesus being persecuted or assaulted in any way is enough to make Peter recoil in horror, and rebel against the possibility of it happening. Peter says: “Heaven forbid that such a thing happens to you. In reply, Jesus sounds very harsh and he says “Get behind me Satan”. But perhaps Jesus was struggling to accept the idea., himself and finds Peter’s objection too such to cope with. It would be a great temptation to sneak away, and to make plans to avoid what was instore for him. How easy and how alluring such prospect would be. But Jesus has to make a decision. Peter’s way of thinking is natural and human of reacting to evil and suffering. We would all probably react the same as Peter. But there is another way of thinking. Jesus point out to us the way that God thinks about things, and God’s way is quite different.
But Jesus’ lesson comes out in this way. In our lives in this world, we naturally seek to save ourselves, to look after ourselves, even to prosper. This, Jesus tells us in a narrow, limited and short-sighted way of living. Jesus will show us, in his own life, and in his own way of facing life-and –death-issues, that there is another and better way of living. That is to live for one another and not our selves.
If you learn to “lose your life” then you will find life. This is a completely new way of thinking. It is a new mind, and new mentality as St. Paul explains to the Christian People of Rome. A new way of thinking, this new way of behaving in the face of suffering and hostility, became a major education of Christ’s friends. Peter, in particular, learned the lesson profoundly. In his later life, he came to write to his fellow Christians, “No one can hurt you if you are determined to do only what is right; you have to suffer for being good, you will count it a blessing.”
As Jesus went willingly to the cross, accepting the suffering that his enemies inflicted on him, we, Christ’s followers, are invited to do the same. That is to bear our sufferings patiently, and to persevere in love.

Fr. Joe