Holy Cross Catholic Church

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23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - September 10, 2023

Dear friends,

There is a lot to share this weekend. But let’s first say a word on today’s readings.

Today it is much easier to overlook a situation or to make excuses to take action to correct an evil action. Over and over again, we hear “it is not my business.” And we sin by omission. On the other hand, it seems easier to gossip or to tell stories about people around us who happen to fall or to make mistakes. This starts always either with the suggestive questions “did you hear about this or that?” or “did you see this or that…?” Then we engage in disparaging someone else’s reputation while we fail at the same time to make a difference.

Today the Scriptures reading tell us that none of these two attitudes is an expression of love. Quite the contrary. We are taught how to win a brother or sister for Christ. Respect, love, and consideration for a brother or sister who shows weakness in his or her choices is what Jesus teaches us today. Jesus gives us the path to mutual correction through a three-step process. Firstly, to talk with the person personally to win them over; which means to sway them to give up their wrongdoing. If this fails, we take the second step which is to confront the person in the presence of two or three witness. Thirdly, if the second step also fails, to bring the person before the whole Church. The last step should be seen as related to matter of serious and public nature. But all in all, the idea behind this process is that if we should try to correct one another, it should be done out of love.

Now to other information. Two celebrations are scheduled this week. The first one is one Tuesday, September 12, following the memorial of the tragic event of September 11. We would like to honor those among us who day in and day out sacrifice everything to protect us. As we lift up the souls of those who lost their lives on that Day of darkness, the celebration is also a token of gratitude for those still living and an expression of our indefectible support. So let us come together for the celebration of the Eucharist on Tuesday at 7 pm. Bring a friend to show our love for first responders, fire fighters, police officers, medical personnel, and security personnel. The second celebration is our Parish Feast Day, which is on Thursday, September 14: the Feast if the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. We celebrate the Cross no longer as a tree of shame but a source of our salvation and our only hope. Therefore, I invite each and all of us to come to the celebration of the Eucharist in honor of our Parish as we gather and work together in the process of building a community of disciples called to be witnesses to the glorious victory of the Cross. Happy Feast Day to ourselves and to all who happen to encounter us and to find the face of Jesus Christ shinning in and through each one of us.

Fr. Emery


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