My friends in Christ, we see again in the gospel this weekend, the struggle of many of the disciples who were following Christ. They struggled to understand, they struggled to accept what He was teaching, and they struggled with their faith. Even though we have the benefit of the entire picture through the living word of God, “Sacred Scripture” in the Bible, we too at times struggle with our faith. Be it during difficult circum-stances, perhaps a loved one or even ourselves struggling with a serious health issue, perhaps a financial burden or some other life altering catastrophic event, we may ask God, why are You doing this to me? Or why are You allowing this to happen to me? Why are You letting me suffer? These are occasions when we may question our faith. Yes indeed our faith might be being tested. The question we must answer is, how do we respond to this test of faith. In the gospel today we see that many of the disciples responded by leaving our Lord and have returned to their former way of life. We note that the Twelve however remained steadfast in their faith and in the words of Simon Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Let us always have the strength and fortitude of the Twelve and put all our trust, hope and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is with us always. He wants to dwell in your heart and soul. We must always strive to make our heart a worthy vessel for our Lord to dwell in. We must live as he calls us to. We must be strong and ever vigilant in our faith and love of him. In difficult times, we must turn to him more deeply and in greater devotion so that He may be with and in us and comfort and guide us. We must be understanding and accepting of His plan and abandon our own plan. We must surrender to Him and His will always.
I pray that each of you will surrender to Him every day and thereby grow ever more in love with Him and grow stronger in your faith and trust of our Lord.
On an additional note, just a reminder that the Bishop has reinstated the obligation to attend Mass and Holy Days of Obligation as of August 15th. That means if you miss Mass or a Holy Day of Obligation without good cause, it’s a mortal sin and you must go to confession prior to receiving the sacrament of the Eucharist. If you are not feeling well we ask that you please stay home and not attend Mass until you are better. Missing Mass because of illness is good cause and therefore not a sin.
Have a very blessed week!
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Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.