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From the Desk of Fr. Ryan - Associate Pastor
September 26, 2021 - Twenty Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

I was thinking… things are pretty tough in our world right now. And in reading the scriptures, we see that times were tough in the time of Jesus also. Jesus hurt from the difficulties and tragedies of His day. And He hurts from the difficulties and tragedies of our day. We continue to hurt from the Covid-19 virus that shut down our world and even all this time later, has seemingly refused to fade away. We hurt from the violence that grips our city. We hurt from the bitter pill of division (and often enough – the accompanying hatred) in our world.

I keep praying with Jesus’ call to unity from this weekend’s Gospel. Jesus wants to encourage John - and us - to recognize that we are called to be one. Jesus has warned John to not worry so much about who is a true Christian and to concern himself, and us, with leading a life worthy of our calling. We do that by being nourished by the Word, by sacred Scripture.

Has Scripture been able to help you through the uncertainty of our times? I’ve often thought that we certainly have an abundance of problems that the people of the Bible would never have dreamed of. We certainly don’t hear about Covid-19 in scripture! And it’s true, that we live in an incredibly difficult world with unique problems. Our unique problems might be different in style, but not so much substance compared to those in Scripture.

A simple stroll through Scripture and you’ll see it… from Adam on, men and women have struggled to realize the fullness of their life with the Lord. Read the news today, and you’ll see the same thing. Men and women have fallen, over and over again. It’s a challenge we live with, and always will live with. We’re human. The Lord knows this. This is why the Lord sent His Son to draw us near to Him. He sent us Jesus Christ: to open for us the Kingdom of Heaven. He has left us Word and Spirit to continue to nourish us.

Pray. Don’t lose heart. Be persistent. Be tenacious. Don’t go at it alone. You can’t alone. I can’t alone. But we can, with Him – with Jesus Christ!

Each time we celebrate the sacraments and read sacred Scripture, there is an opportunity and a new beginning. We are strengthened by God. And when we fall or are saddened, we begin again. Saints aren’t born, they’re formed by a daily commitment to know Christ; to offer your life to Him as a blank check. We can be strengthened and nourished by our return to Scripture and the Sacraments … to begin again our path to becoming a saint!

Our Father is in Heaven and wants to draw us near to Him. We are His beloved sons and daughters. Jesus is here - in our tabernacles - and He wants to dwell also in our hearts. Come to Jesus and receive Him in the Eucharist. We will be spiritually and physically strengthened and nurtured by Jesus Christ. Let us look at our past as a time of strengthening, our present as a beautiful communion with our Lord, and our future as an opportunity to begin again and again on our path to holiness. There is so much to hope for – together.

Fr. Ryan Brady - Associate Pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge / St. Linus Parish

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