Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Praised be Jesus Christ!  Now and forever! 

As we enter these final days of Ordinary Time, the scriptures begin to turn our attention to the end times.  Next Sunday is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.   

The Feast of Jesus Christ the King will end our Liturgical cycle.  The Holy Catholic Church places our focus on the reality that each one of us, like it or not, must one day stand before our Lord Jesus for personal judgment.  Saint Paul warns us that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night” (1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6).   

Traditionally, the Church calls our attention to the “Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven or Hell.”  The Church teaches us that at the moment of death, the soul experiences “immediate judgment.”  At that moment Jesus Christ will examine our whole earthly life.  Then there is what we term “The Final Judgment”, or often simply called “The End of the World.”  At that moment, Jesus Christ will return in all glory to judge the living and the dead.  The righteous will go off to eternal life (Heaven) and the cursed to eternal punishment (Hell) (St. Matthew’s Gospel – Chapter 25). 

Friends, during our lives here on earth, Jesus is our guide and leader, constantly calling each of us into greater discipleship with him.  Jesus Christ has given us His Church…the Catholic Church and its teaching authority to guide us safely into Eternal Life.   

In today’s Gospel, Jesus asks us not to bury the treasures entrusted to us at baptism, but to invest these treasures, our gifts and talents, to help further the Kingdom of God.  Let us take the time to examine ourselves and look back over our past lives.  How much have we improved as a disciple of Jesus?  How much importance do we place on our spiritual lives?  Are we growing in our prayer lives?  Are we growing closer every day to Jesus? 

What about our membership to the Catholic Church?  How much concern do we give to spreading the Good News of the Church?  Do we really wish to enter the joy of the Lord?  Name one way that you have used a natural gift or talent to help in the furthering of the Lord’s work here on earth.  We cannot bury the gifts and talents given to us in the ground!  When we live our lives centered upon Jesus and try every day to use our personal gifts and talents to build His kingdom, we have no fear of death or what awaits us.  

We live in difficult times.  Too much is focused only on this world.  Strive to set your goal on the higher realm, where Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father.  The beautiful stained glass window above our choir loft is the depiction of Jesus Christ, our King and Judge.  It reminds us all that one day we must render an account to Jesus of how we spent our earthly lives.  Then Jesus Himself will determine if we are fit for the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven. 

            Autumn Sunday Blessings upon you and your loves ones!
                   May the Souls of our Faithful Departed rest in peace.
 Devotedly in the Merciful Christ, 
Father Jim 


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