In the Gospel of this Sunday Jesus continues to teach us humility, but despite the efforts of Jesus to teach the disciples to live like Him, at the service of the kingdom of God, they do not quite understand it. The scene that Saint Mark presents us today gives us much to think about. Today we see His disciples trying to prevent others from proclaiming the kingdom in Jesus’ name. “We have seen one who casts out demons in your name, and since he is not one of us, we forbid him.” They are not happy that people are cured and can start a more fulfilling life. They only think of the prestige of their own group. Therefore, they have tried to nip their performance in the bud. This is their only reason: “He’s not one of us.” There is not much difference in the mentality of many today; they believe that faith is exclusive and when they see new members in the ministries and apostolic groups, or when new ministries emerge, they feel uncomfortable. Jesus clarifies directly, “We have no right to forbid it” because everyone has a place in the Church. Jesus breaks all sectarian temptation in His followers. You have not formed your group to control your salvation. He is not a rabbi of a closed school but rather He is God who offers open salvation to all. His Church must support His name where He is invoked to do good. The Word is very clear, we must be a united Church, but with the doors open to all. Everyone is welcomed.
Last weekend, we put into practice this universal work of the Church at the ministry fair; I thank all the groups and ministries that promoted and recruited new members. Now it is our turn to pray that these new members will begin to persevere and that in the future we will have many spiritual fruits. I also thank everyone who worked putting everything together to make the fair a success, especially the Knights of Columbus who donated free hot dogs for everyone and for their hard work and support to the parish. God pay you for your generosity.
Also, a month in advance, I want to encourage you to participate in the diocesan pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on October 30. Our Bishop Michael Burbidge invites us to accompany him- I think it will be a beautiful occasion for us to come together and represent our parish. I would like you to register as soon as possible to calculate the fee to be paid and depending on the number of participants, we are going to rent one or two buses to go all together. If you would like to participate please call the parish office to register.
Finally, I would like to remind those who have pets, next Monday, October 4th, we will have the blessing of animals. It will be from 4 to 6pm in front of the church. October 4th is the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi; it is a beautiful occasion to bless our pets who give us so much happiness. No need to sign up, just bring your dog, cat, or any pet and we will bless them.
May God bless you and may you have a nice week.