From the Pastor’s Desk

Twenty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sept 3, 2023

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.”
-Romans 12:1-2

Brothers and Sisters,

Brothers and Sisters,

The Scriptures this week challenge us to embrace sacrifice and implement penance into our daily lives. I must admit, in my humanity, I resist this message and sometimes find myself leaning on another passage of Scripture to “discredit” this teaching. That being “Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy not sacrifice.”[MT 9:13] If I am honest in my study and prayer, Jesus’ admonition to the Pharisees does not apply in all situations and circumstances. Jesus chastises them because they want him to exclude the “tax collectors and sinners” from a relationship with God and, therefore, a relationship with the community. We are called to be merciful and understanding to others and, yes, even, at times, ourselves. Yet, we should be cautious of overvaluing our sacrifice. After all, while Jesus tells us to take up our cross, our cross does not have the same salvific value as Christ and cannot save us on its own. Pennance alone is no substitute. We need Jesus in our lives.

But that does not negate the value of embracing suffering. Authentic worship requires sacrifice. As a bonus, the penance we assume opens us to the grace of God in a profound way. As St. Paul tells us, by offering ourselves as a sacrifice, God renews our minds and aids us in understanding God’s ways. We discern the will of God in our life. The penance, while it may make our stomachs grumble or frustrate our instincts towards our use of our beloved electronic devices, provides us freedom: freedom from the enslavements of this world and, with it, the noise that clutters our brains and prevents us from hearing God clearly, as well as hearing ourselves and others.

In a recent letter to the priests of the Archdiocese, Archbishop Lori has encouraged us to reintegrate a discipline of the Ember Days. I’m among those who had to figure out what he was referring to. Ember days appear quarterly, associated with the Feast of St. Michael (September 29), Advent, Lent, and Pentecost. Typically, the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday before the feast are meant to inspire particular acts of prayer, fasting, and charity, much like our practices during Lent. Of course, like other sacrifices, intentionality matters. Ask yourself, why are we making this particular offering? Please consider making intentional sacrifices throughout the year. Perhaps, an act of penance each Friday or join in this season’s Ember days, which occurs on Wednesday, September 20, Friday, September 22, and Saturday, September 23. And let us make these offerings, asking God to sanctify our parish and increase our love for Christ! I am thankful that our men’s and women’s ministries have reemphasized penitential practices and disciplines, including Exodus 90.

May you have a blessed Labor Day with your family and friends! Thank you for the many ways you have labored to bring the love of Jesus to our community and the world.

In the Lord,

Rev. Michael S. Triplett

Other Considerations in and around our Community:

  • HONORING PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICIALS – The Archdiocese of Baltimore is working to foster a community for Catholic first responders and their families. Public safety professionals and their loved ones are invited to join this Facebook group, “First Responders of the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” which comprises faith-filled public servants, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and veterans. The group is designed to provide fellowship and all-important spiritual support and create a space for first responders to connect as Catholics united in Christ’s love. Search for “First Responders of the Archdiocese of Baltimore” on Facebook and request to join the group, or type the following address into your web browser: Please also mark your calendars: Archbishop William E. Lori will celebrate a special Blue Mass to invoke God’s blessing on our first responders on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Monastery in southwest Baltimore. 
  • HIGH HOPES FOR HAITI CRAB FEAST-Saturday, September 23, 1 – 4 pm. Gather friends and family for this all-you-can-eat picnic at Ridge Pavilion of Oregon Ridge Park. Only 20 minutes north of Baltimore and about an hour from Hershey, PA, right off of Rt. 83 for easy access! The spread will include Maryland steamed crabs and a buffet of other seasonal food, beer, and wine. The event will feature basket raffles and special activities for kids! Visit for more information and order your tickets. 
  • TASTE – Catholic Women’s Program — Are you looking for a way to draw closer to Jesus and learn more about your Faith? Between now and February 2nd, you can attend from home as the TASTE Program offers virtual Zoom sessions with speakers on fire for the Faith on Thursdays at 10:30 am. Additionally, from February 9th through the end of April, these sessions will be held in person, along with small group sharing. For further information and details or to register, please visit
  • COLUMBIA PREGNANCY CENTER FALL GALA – with Former NFL Baltimore Raven, Matt Birk: Join us for our Fall Gala on Friday, October 6th, 7;00-9:00 p.m. at the Marriott Owings Mills. Hear from Matt Birk and learn more about the mission and ministry of the Center for Pregnancy Concerns and our crisis pregnancy center, Options@328, serving the women of Baltimore City and beyond. To find out more about CPC and this event, visit 
  • BIRDIES FOR BRIDGES GOLF TOURNAMENT – September 22nd at Timbers at Troy, 6100 Marshalee Dr., Elkridge. Check-in begins at 7:30 am with a Shotgun Start at 9:00 am. The event will end at approximately 5:00 pm. The day will feature a light breakfast, box lunch, a 19th hole cookout, raffles, and several on-course contests. Participants can register as individuals or as a foursome. All proceeds will benefit Bridges to Housing Stability and the work to end homelessness.

    How to Participate: Register online at