Thank you to everyone who supported Resurrection through the raffle this year. Certainly, it would have been preferable to have the picnic, so we look forward to having it next year. Congratulations to Bryan Pfieffer, who won the grand prize, to Mike Yetzer, who won second prize, and Jake Blackstone, who won third prize!
It's hard to believe that the month of September is almost over! Looking toward October, we are reminded that October is a Marian month, particularly because October 7 is the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. On that same date in 1571, the Christian forces of Europe defeated the Ottoman Turks in the monumental naval Battle of Lepanto. Pope St. Pius V asked Christians of Europe to pray the rosary, asking Our Lady of Victory to intercede for Europe. Our cathedral in Toledo is dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, and so she is the patroness of our diocese, and October 7 is our patronal feast day through the Diocese of Toledo. With this in mind, we begin a novena—nine days of prayer, just as the Twelve prayed for nine days between the Ascension and Pentecost—in preparation of the feast day. We will provide information on the website and social media, but you can also find more information at: www.dioceseoftoledo.org/feast-day-home .
As we come to the end of September and praying for holy disciples in the Diocese of Toledo, may we reflection upon this question: “How will my discipleship impact others?”
Continuing with the Lord's Prayer, we reflect upon the petition, “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We pray “Thy will be done,” but deep down we often want my will be done. Last weekend in the first reading from the Book of the prophet Isaiah, we heard God tell us that His ways are not our ways and that His thoughts are not our thoughts. Our prayer to God is often, “Give me what I want,” but this petition of the Lord's Prayer reminds us that the prayer of the disciple is, “Teach me Your ways, Your thoughts, Your will.”
Following up on this, Pope Benedict XVI states, “God has a will with and for us and it must become the measure of our willing and being...the essence of 'heaven' is that it is where God's will is unswervingly done...the essence of heaven is oneness with God's will, the oneness of will and truth. Earth becomes 'heaven' when and insofar as God's will is done there; and it is merely 'earth,' the opposite of heaven, when and insofar as it withdraws from the will of God. This is why we pray that it may be on earth as it is in heaven—that earth may become 'heaven.'” In other words, God has a will, a plan for us, and heaven is where God's will is followed exactingly, and so earth can become more like heaven when God's plan is followed.
We know Jesus was a carpenter; the Greek word for this is “tekton” (τεκτον), meaning “builder.” From this Greek word, we get other words such as, “architect” or “architecture.” Following Greek closely, the word “architect” means “great builder.” This is Jesus, the Son of God. God is the architect of our lives, with a specific plan for each of us. As we pray, “Thy will be done,” we are praying to follow God's plan in all things.
This means following His plan in matters of morality. For young people, it means seeking God's plan, and not just their own, when thinking about state in life, vocation, career, college. For all of us, it means seeking God's plan when making a major (and minor) decision. In our parish, that means asking God what He wants when meeting and making decisions. God has a plan for each of us, for our families, for our parishes, and His plan is what will bring us greatest joy, meaning, and fulfillment. Following His plan allows us to experience a foretaste of heaven here on earth.
We are all saints under construction, growing in holiness by following God's will and plan. Have a great week!