Monday, August 29, 2016

August 14, 2016

The Gospel today begins with Jesus saying: 
“I have come to set a fire on the earth and I wish it were already blazing for 
there is a baptism with which I must be baptized and how great is my anguish 
until it is accomplished.” 

We know that the baptism he is speaking of is his actual death and rising from 
the grave. It is through our being washed in the blood of the lamb that our sins 
are removed, forgiven. Our Lord's baptism is a baptism of suffering; it involved 
pain and anguish, but concluded with his risen glorified Body.

We human beings throughout the world endure suffering, yet Christians find 
meaning and encouragement by uniting our suffering to Christ's. Through Him 
we have the grace to do this, and in the process He sanctifies us for he identifies
- he sees himself in us, for we are one in him. Facing this baptism of fire, which 
is human suffering, we open ourselves for spiritual growth, for deepening our 
love of this Christ who so loved us even when we were not worthy of his love.

(Today we are honoring GenevieveKolenowski who faced life and kept faith in 
the depths of debilitating pancreatic cancer.  She faced it with faith and courage. 
Her family gathered in San Diego for prayers and her burial on the 31st. 
 I promised her I would offer Mass here at her home parish for 70 years, since 
she was so active in helping with our many fund raisers all that time. For months 
she knew she was dying and that nothing more could be done, so she calmly with 
inner peace let many know of her situation, and on the 25 died in her apartment.  One of the great unsung blesseds of our parish.)

Can we ask the Lord to give us a similar inner strength, a calmness without fear, 
especially in times of trial and tribulation, depression, illness, suffering and even 
when we have to face and endure the suffering of others. This is very trying 
- when there is little or nothing we can really do to alleviate the pain of others, 
yet to be with them confirms that they are not facing this alone.

Try to come to church Monday, Our Lady’s Feast Day, or at least give some time 
in reflection on the truth of what Our Lady's Assumption into heaven reveals 
- that we too one day will have our glorified body with us in Heavenly glory.  
May you have a happy Feast Day.

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