I extend my gratitude and blessings to all those who give of themselves during the Fall Festival at St. Paul Parish in New Lisbon. It is good that parishes have events which remind us that the parish is a family, that the Church is a family.
There is no family that is ever perfect. There are arguments, hurt feelings, jealousies, and all sorts of dysfunction mixed in with the joys, the love, the warmth, and the good times.
If this is so in a single human family, how much more for the Church or the world? After all, the family is the most basic building block for society. So it is no wonder that the family is under attack, for the family at it’s strongest and purest, most closely resembles the Holy Trinity. Thus the devil will always work to sub- vert, divide, and destroy families.
However, rather than looking to the external threats to family life, or the Church, St. James in the second reading presents us with a different place to look. He writes “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every foul practice.” (James 3:16) Then he asks “Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from? Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?” (James 4:1)
This means that so long as there is jealousy, and selfish ambition in my own heart, and to the extent that I allow those to reign, there will be discord in my family, and in the world.
The Apostles were arguing about who was the greatest among them after Jesus had just said “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” (Mark 9:31) Our Lord instructs them and us that in the Kingdom, the greatest are those who serve their brothers and sisters. Those who have set aside jealousy and serve for the sake of the other.
That is why family life is of utmost importance. The love between husband and wife, brothers and sisters, and parents and children teaches each of us how to love, how to put the good of the other ahead of my own selfish ambitions.
I have seen a billboard with a simple message: “NO CHRIST, NO PEACE: KNOW CHRIST, KNOW PEACE. This goes for our own hearts, our families, our Church, and the world.
God bless you all, Father Robert Letona
Interested in becoming Catholic, or would you like to learn more about your Catholic Faith?
Come to St. Paul’s Thursday, September 27th at 6:30 pm for more information!
Adult Faith Formation/ RCIA: