Sunday Reflection: Jesus seems to say to the young man desperately wishing to draw him into his family quarrel, “You’re paying attention to the wrong things!” Jesus tells them to “perceive,” and then follows with, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions” (v. 15). By saying this, Jesus indicates that this goes beyond objective reality or rationalizations of the mind. He wants the young man and the crowd to feel the meaning within their bodies, and to know in a different kind of way.
This does not necessarily seem to be a lesson centered on sharing, but the rich man in the parable uses the word “my” five times in the span of just two verses: “my crops,” “my barns,” “my grain,” “my goods,” “my soul” (v. 17-19). Then, he knocks down his old barn and builds a bigger one to hold his stash. Luke stresses the importance of an equitable society, so the truth to be perceived comes directly from Jesus’ use of the word abundance. Luke drives this point home when God says, “You fool!” (v. 20), echoing Jesus’ opening sentiments to the young man. God seems to say, “Your eyes are so narrowed on your material accumulations, you cannot see the destruction your greed rains upon you or the others around you.”
Reflection: At times, we make prayer into something much more difficult than God intends it to be. In this passage from Luke’s gospel, we hear that Jesus’ disciples saw him praying and asked him to teach them how to pray. The prayer he taught them is one that we know and pray virtually every time we gather as a community to pray. The words may be so familiar to us that we overlook the simplicity of the petitions. Jesus invites his followers to address their God as Father, showing them that the invitation to prayer is an invitation to a relationship with an intimate God, not one who is distant and unconcerned with our needs and desires. Jesus teaches his followers to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom, for the sustenance they need each day, for the forgiveness of their sins and the strength to forgive those who have sinned against them, and for protection from times of trial. They are simple yet powerful petitions. Jesus taught his disciples to come before their God and bring their requests with simplicity and honesty. Jesus also reminded his followers that God is always good and faithful. God hears our prayers and always provides for us. Jesus never promised that all of our prayers would be granted just as we asked them. Though it may seem that God does not hear our prayers, Jesus promises that those who ask of God will indeed receive. A collect on page 394 of the Book of Common Prayer puts it this way: “Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
How can you simplify your life of prayer to draw closer to God?
St. Michael’s 60th Anniversary Update: (as of June 11, 2019)
- Task Group Meeting: Mike’s task group met last week. Here are some updates.
- Principle Celebration:Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. 9:00am-Meet and Greet, Coffee and Welcome;10:00-Solemn Eucharist to be Presided by The Archbishop; 11:45-Fellowship Meal, Speeches and Socials, Cake Cutting Ceremony; 2:30pm-Wrap Up.
- Luncheon:The main course will be provided by the parish. Parishioners are asked to assist by bringing in side dishes and desserts on Sept. 29th. Please coordinate with Kathi Dale and Clark Norman about this matter.
- Advertisement:Parishioners would be given three (3) options for our signage: a magnetic bumper vehicle signage; a sticker bumper vehicle signage; a laminated plastic vehicle signage that can be placed inside your rear windshield.
Shopping bags would be available with a printed church logo, name and address of St. Michael’s.
The Invitation letter is now available for parishioners to send to your family and friends. Please contact Jeddy James on how you can have it.
Our Sunday School children will be making a special banner for the anniversary.
- Cultural Presentation: Donna, Linda and Mike will present a skit about the history of St. Michael’s during our principal celebration.
- A Parish B-B-Q has been set on Saturday, August 24, 5:00pm, at St. Michael’s ground.