Lent is a beneficial time "pruning" of the falsity, of worldliness, indifference: not to think that everything is fine if I'm fine; to understand that what matters is not the approval, the pursuit of success or consent, but the cleanliness of the heart and of life.
- Pope Francis
Lent is a call to conversion. Pope Francis reminds us that "the call to conversion is then a push to return, as did the son of the parable, to the arms of God, tender and merciful Father, to trust Him and to entrust ourselves to Him."
Pope Francis calls for all of us to find joy in the Gospel. Join our faith family for another engaging presentation as part of the Faith Formation Forum. Mark P. Shea, author and speaker, will present an explanation of the bible.
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, February 26th, 2017
Breaking Open the Word of God
When we understand the gospel correctly we realize it is not an ideal far removed from everyday worries. But in order to understand the gospel correctly we need to be listening, we need to be attentive to Jesus. Today Jesus tells us about the wisdom of life. Still within the frame of the beatitudes and against the background of the commandments, Jesus speaks today about topics that are near to us, topics that cause worries in our everyday life and that keep us busy everyday, like food and clothing.
What Jesus tells us about it might cause a bit of anxiety. The first thing we understand might be we should not worry about these needs, though they are on the one hand basic needs, but on the other hand, they are not guaranteed. These needs are basic needs, but they are not the only ones, nor are they the most important ones. Their basic character makes them urgent, however; if we don’t pay attention to them all other needs, even the loftier ones, are left unfulfilled. Jesus gives us a simple explanation which solves this possible problem taking care of both extremes. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. That is, we eat to live, but we must not live just to eat. And just like food must be at the service of life, and not the other way around, so must something to wear be at the service of the body, and we shouldn’t make our bodies poor displays of clothes, of appearances. Clothes have their value, but it must be subordinate to the value of the body. The body must not become a slave of clothes, fashion, appearance. In truth we must be concerned about these needs, but in the right degree. They should not take hold of our heart to the point of enslaving it, making them “lords” who rule our lives and blind to what is really important.
To seek the kingdom means to raise our eyes to “the goods of above” and realize that “the kingdom of God is neither food nor drink, but justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”. When we act this way, we learn to not reject, but to “appreciate in the right measure” the things of below. The earthly goods which satisfy our hunger and cover our nakedness.
The Gospel gives us true wisdom for our everyday lives, a guideline to judge and appreciate all the goods, it gives us a real “ordering of the heart” which makes us free and teaches us to enjoy life, the day by day gifts we receive, its sufferings and evils. If we completely trust in the providence of God the Father, life’s difficulties should not take away our peace. In fewer words: Jesus teaches us to gauge our needs, and our worries, never giving up the ideals that should fill our hearts.
Walking together like brothers and sisters:
"Our Star of Faith Giving Light to All"
- St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
33 Months of Renewal,
We are St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Parish, a diverse Roman Catholic community guided by the Holy Spirit. We are transformed by grace through sacraments, prayer, compassion, and evangelization.
We are disciples of Jesus Christ.
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church is staffed by the Religious Congregation of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit from
Christ the Priest Province under the
Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle.