From the Pastor’s Desk

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

June 16, 2024

To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
-Mark 4:30

 

Brothers and Sisters,

Happy Father’s Day!

As a child, I understood my parents’ priorities:

  • Study and work hard in school.
  • Commit to the teams and groups you are part of.
  • Be attentive to and supportive of family.
  • Live the faith.

I learned years later that some of these priorities were essential in their childhood, and others were lessons learned. For example, my father emphasized the importance of school, yet he was far from the ideal student (my mother, on the other hand, was a strong student!) But I also witnessed these priorities in action in their lives. My father worked hard, including taking on a second job doing taxes for clients, coaching many of our soccer teams, leading the Archdiocesan Soccer League, finding time to visit and help his family, and striving to visit regularly.

Several strong evangelists have emphasized the correlation between a father’s religious practices and a child’s continued engagement with the Catholic faith into adulthood. While every correlation is not necessarily a causation, there is an undeniable impact. As I have shared before, my father did not talk much about faith while I was growing up. My mother prioritized this and was much more open about her faith. However, my father was present every Sunday. He made great efforts to ensure we had a strong experience of the faith, as my parents made great sacrifices to put all seven of us through Catholic grade and high school. As I entered young adulthood, my father became more vocal about his faith, and I feel blessed to remember a number of those conversations about his faith and the importance of faith.

The Scriptures this week remind us of the importance of growth. At the core of Jesus’ teachings, the Kingdom of God is a critical message. He wanted us to understand the vision and the goal. We are aiming for an eternal kingdom. In teaching about the Kingdom of God, he uses the image of a mustard seed. Sometimes, we miss the critical point of his message that we could move mountains with faith as small as a mustard seed (cf. Matthew 17). But here, the emphasis is that faith the size of a mustard seed is only the potential. We need to cultivate and cooperate for its growth to become one of the largest plants. If you feel your faith isn’t as strong as it could be or become complacent, you’re missing out on an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the world around you—and within the family you hold so dear.

I encourage your prayers for Deacons Angel Acuna, Daniel Andrades, Franz Belleza, Mike Misulia, Lenin Suarez, and Zach Watson. Archbishop Lori will ordain these six men on Saturday, June 22, at 10 am at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen. If you have not been to an ordination before, know that this is one of the most beautiful liturgies of the year. The solemnity, the rituals, and the sense of divine presence make it a truly awe-inspiring event. All are most welcome.

Coming to a close, our Pastoral Council, which serves as an advisory committee to me and helps to strengthen our parish community, has a few open positions. If you are interested or would like to nominate someone to serve (usually a three-year position), please contact me at mtriplett@archbalt.org —thank you!

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

What’s Happening In and Around OLPH:

KINGDOM BUILDERS – Daughters Arise We can often approach Jesus as if we are an inconvenience ~ only seeking crumbs and scraps. But Jesus desires MORE for us. He is inviting us to come out of the shadows, stand up, and claim our title as a beloved daughter of the King! Ladies ~ Join us in June to rest in His love, receive His peace and joy, and hear from our guest speaker, Mary Cartagena, on Wednesday, June 26th, 7-8:30 pm at St.Louis Main Church, Clarksville, MD. Women of all ages are welcome to attend.

MARYLAND WOMEN’S CATHOLIC CONFERENCE – This year’s Maryland Catholic Women’s Conference will be hosted at St. Mark in Catonsville on November 9. Many hands are needed to bring this event to life. An informational meeting will be held at St. Mark on Tuesday, June 25, at 6:30 PM in the Parish Center for those interested in volunteering. Registration to the conference will be discounted for all volunteers, so spread the word and bring along some friends who might also be interested in helping at the conference!

INDIVIDUAL UNBOUND MINISTRY PRAYER – Unbound Ministry Prayer offers individual prayer sessions on Saturday, June 22, using the Unbound model of prayer. Prior to your appointment, please read at least the first seven chapters of the book “Unbound” by Neal Lozano. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please get in touch with Dan or Peggy Gahagan by Monday, June 17th, at UnboundMinistryMaryland@gmail.com.

SPECIAL EVENING OF ADORATION, PRAISE, & WORSHIP – In conjunction with hosting the ChristLife Equip Conference on June 19- 21, OLPH will offer a special evening of Adoration, Praise & Worship, led by Fr. Erik Arnold, on Thursday, June 20th at 7:00 pm in the church. All OLPH Parishioners and friends of the parish are invited to attend. If you have yet to attend a Festival of Praise, this is a great first step.