*Missionary Appeal Next Weekend
Every year the Archdiocese of Detroit’s Society for the Propagation of the Faith gives each parish an opportunity to host a missionary, learn about his/her work, and conduct a collection for the support of their mission. This year we will be hosting Fr. Constantine Mlelwa, a priest from Tanzania, who will be representing the Catholic Diocese of Tanga in Tanzania/East Africa. He will speak at all the weekend Masses, and has kindly agreed to be the main celebrant at two Masses, in order to give me a chance to get away for a week of vacation. Fr. Mlelwa was ordained a priest in 2014. Since August 2020 Fr. Mlelwa has been a graduate student in Pastoral Ministry at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
The Catholic Diocese of Tanga is on the northeastern coast of Tanzania, East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean on the east and Kenya on the north. The Diocese of Tanga has a number of seminarians preparing for priesthood with limited resources to support their formation. This appeal will help with the cost of forming these seminarians. I know you will be hospitable in welcoming Mr. Mlelwa and generous in supporting this mission.
*Prayer for Vocations to Priesthood
Speaking of supporting those in formation for priesthood, in June the Archdiocese of Detroit inaugurated a year of prayer for priestly vocations in the Archdiocese of Detroit. Since then, we have added a weekly Prayer of the Faithful for such vocations, and we are committed to praying a special prayer for vocations at all Masses on the first weekend of the month. Here is the prayer we will be praying. It is a slightly modified version of the prayer sent out from the Office for Priestly Vocations last month:
we ask you to continue to awaken in each of us
the vocation of living as your missionary disciple
in every walk of life,
and we are grateful for the many men and women
you have called forth from our midst to serve
as ecclesial lay ministers, deacons, priests, and religious.
Lord of the Harvest,
we humbly come before you now in a time of great need,
asking for an outpouring of your Spirit upon our Church
and our families,
to call forth vocations to the priesthood for our archdiocese.
Jesus, Eternal High Priest,
give us men willing to sacrifice and serve.
Make their hearts after your own Sacred Heart.
Holy Spirit, Everlasting Love between the Father and Son,
strengthen, inspire, and set men on fire with divine charity.
Grant them the courage to say yes to their vocation.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, Mother of priests,
comfort and protect your sons as they discern their call.
With St. Joseph, may they know your love and companionship as they deepen their relationship with Jesus.
St. Anne, patroness of our archdiocese, pray for us.
St. John Vianney, patron saint of priests, pray for us.
Today’s Gospel passage is situated within a larger section on greed and false dependence on material possessions that invites the disciple/reader to a more radical dependence on God, a favorite theme in Luke’s Gospel. In this brief story of two brothers who are in dispute over the inheritance they have received, notice how the questioner wants Jesus to side with him by the way he frames the request: “Tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” Jesus refuses to satisfy the request. In fact, Jesus deliberately distances himself from the petitioner and then addresses not the two brothers, but all listeners, calling them to a basic living out of the covenant that goes beyond this one situation: “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.” And in case anyone misunderstands this basic principle of life, Luke places Jesus’ parable of the rich fool here. More than just remembering how we are to act, we are to put wisdom into practice. If we do, live with detachment and refuse greed in all forms, the life God desires for us will emerge. If we do not, we will have in essence wasted our life and have been a fool. Powerful words!
This story is a typical example of the location, stance, or space, in which the gospels place Jesus as he carries out his mission. Jesus is caught between brother and brother, but refuses to move out of that uncomfortable “space.” Instead, Jesus redefines the space, turning it into an event of grace so that all can learn and grow (or intensely dislike him, if they take issue with his wisdom!). The occasion is turned from what could be a burden for Jesus into an opportunity to open up a new horizon/world for the brothers and all who listen. So, too for us. (continued on page 4)(continued from page 3)
Where and when do we find ourselves in uncomfortable settings? As with Jesus, could these be moments where God’s grace opens up a new attitude or possibility, if only we have the patience not to run away or avoid the challenge?
*Blessing of College Students
Each year, we like to bless all college and university-bound students before they begin a new academic year in the fall. We will do so next weekend at all Masses. Please invite all your college-level children and grandchildren to join us for one of the Masses, so we may pray for them. Thank you.