On the Road Together for October 14&15
For October 14&15, 2017
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Come to the feast of
heaven and earth!
Come to the table of plenty!
God will provide for all that we need,
Here at the table of plenty.
Opening verse from the song
Table of Plenty
by Dan Schutte, 2008
Director of RCIA
To welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. These are the four verbs that Pope Francis expounds on in his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees this past August. A couple of weeks ago, Pope Francis launched his campaign for migrants and refugees called
Share the Journey
. He is urging the worldwide church to “share the journey” with those who have fled their homes in search of safety. Because October is Respect Life Month, correlating with the start of the campaign, we are urged to think of ways we are called to welcome, protect, promote and integrate all life, and in a special way, those migrants and refugees among us and beyond.
The first reading this weekend is from the Prophet Isaiah. It is a song of praise to God for rescuing the Israelites not only from captivity and exile, but also from the fear of it. Their joy is so great that they want their blessings to extend to ALL PEOPLES. The reading begins:
On this mountain the Lord of hosts
will provide for all peoples
A feast of rich food and choice wines,
juicy, rich food and pure, choice wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the veil that veils all peoples,
The web that is woven over all nations.
He will destroy death forever.
The Lord God will wipe away
the tears from all faces…
The Israelites knew captivity and exile all too well, yet even still, when they felt free from that control, they praised God in such a way as to want their blessing and freedom to extend not only to their own, but to all nations. Here, their hymn of praise envisions a feast where all are welcome and given the choicest food and drink. This is really an astounding development for the Israelites as they struggled in exile to maintain their separateness as the Chosen People. In their freedom, they envision God bringing all peoples together! This theme is echoed in our Gospel. In the parable, the King has his servants invite to the wedding feast “whomever they find” (25:9). These readings give us rich images to draw on as we think about the Share the Journey campaign in our church.
Here at Emmaus, we already do respond to Share the Journey
in so many ways by welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating. One program that comes to mind is our English as a Second Language program. Currently, we have 44 students participating and eleven trained volunteers meeting weekly to learn and improve their English. We also have our annual Thanksgiving celebration which is a meal open to everyone in our community, providing a feast of many rich foods. Many parishioners continue to support a needy individual in another country through the Unbound program that was introduced this summer. Supporting all these programs are many parishioners who provide for all the social programs and parish functions by their generous giving of time, treasure and talent.
The Share the Journey campaign urges us to celebrate the ways we do support refugees and migrants and to also look to ways we can better support them throughout the world and in our own communities. The four verbs, to welcome, to provide, to promote and to integrate, are wonderful words to meditate on during this Respect Life Month as we strive to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves. Let us envision, with the Israelites in their hymn of praise, a place where the Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.
For more information…
Mission Statement for Emmaus Catholic Parish:
TO LOVE GOD by working to put faith into action and seeking to know God better.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your mind, with all your soul,
and with all your strength.
TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER by seeking to increase involvement in small groups and growing in congregational relationships.
A new commandment I give you,
that you love one another as I have loved you.
TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBORS through encouraging personal involvement in outreach and addressing the needs of the wider community.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Readings for Mass, October 14&15:
Sent by Beverly Aviles on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 10:03AM