From the Pastor’s Desk
Twenty-Eighth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Oct 15, 2023
“Go out, therefore, into the main roads and invite to the feast whomever you find.”
Brothers and Sisters,
How do you prefer to RSVP? Nowadays, with technological advances, we receive invitations in so many different ways. We may still receive paper invites via “snail mail” with formal occasions, like weddings, complete with “hard copy” reply cards for the recipient to mail back. Yet, most invites are sent digitally through emails, texts, websites, and apps. These invitations have built-in automatic reminders to ensure we respond and notifications sent just before the event to remind us to attend. Still, with all the reminders and one-click vehicles to respond, I have to admit, some still slip by me. You may feel like me, inundated with electronic forms of communication.
As essential as good manners and proper etiquette are, Jesus’ parable should not be reduced to a lesson on accepted social standards. Today, the Church celebrates St. Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church whose intellect has offered unprecedented insight into developing healthy habits and disciplines of prayer. While starting a daily prayer practice may be arduous, particularly at the beginning stages, the fruits of such a practice, including a deeper relationship with God, are a pure gift. As with any relationship, simply accepting the invitation into a relationship does not mark the end of our efforts. God’s invitation is not a one-time celebration but an enduring relationship. Jesus drives home this mindset in today’s parable, inviting us to get the invite and show up prepared.
Striving to live out our relationship with the Lord, I encourage families and individuals to regularly assess their prayer habits and hold themselves accountable by checking in with like-minded “spiritual friends.” Are we striving to grow? Have we tried new ways to pray or sought to increase our mindfulness throughout the days? Is there a particular way the Lord calls us to put aside a distraction so that our time with him may be a proper priority?
For our youth and their families, I encourage you to consider the Vocations the Lord may ask of you. Our Vocation Office is hosting a Vocation Fair in coordination with Our Lady of Victory (4414 Wilkins Avenue, Baltimore 21229) on Saturday, November 4. The event will include live music, vocation talks and testimonies (from priests, religious men and women, 3rd order lay men and women, and seminarians,) activities for kids, and adoration. The day starts at Noon and will conclude with the 4 pm Vigil Mass.
And for those transitioning into the “retirement” phase of life, I encourage you to pray about how the Lord calls you to use this new “freedom.” Like the Jesuit Volunteer Corp that invites young adults into missionary work and ministry, the Ignatian Volunteer Corp provides resources and encouragement to engage in ministry here in Baltimore. You can check out IVCUSA.org/Baltimore for more information and registration for a Zoom Information Session on Tuesday, October 17, at 10 am.