It is the Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time.
The first reading from book of the prophet Isaiah was written after their return from exile about 538 B.C. The aim was to console the returned exiles, who were depressed when they saw the sad state of Jerusalem and the poverty of the country. Isaiah foretold the future glory of Jerusalem to which people of all nations would come.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews compared them with athletes who endure so much in order to win a contest. They must expect hardship — it is part of the training. The prize cannot be won unless we undergo this training. It is God who sends us these trials. He wants us to win the eternal prize because he loves us; he is our Father.
In the gospel, Christ mentions the narrow door through which we must enter into God’s kingdom. This means that we must exercise self-restraint and mortification and this we do when we respect and keep his commandments. When we are called to judgment it will be too late to shout “Sir, open for us.” We should have sought his mercy and his forgiveness during our earthly life, and he would have granted it.
Tuesday, August 27 is the feast of St. Monica
St. Monica was a Christian and given in marriage to a pagan who had a violent temper. She also had a mother in law who was very argumentative. Her example and prayers won them to Christianity. She had three children and the most famous was Augustine. At 17, Augustine accepted heresy and lived an immoral life. For a while, Monica threw him out of their house, but one night she had a vision that he would soon come back to the faith. Instead she stayed close to her son, praying and fasting for him. She followed him to Rome, only to find out that he proceeded to Milan. In Milan, Augustine was influenced by a bishop Ambrose, who later became Monica’s spiritual director. He was baptized on Easter Sunday. Monica, Augustine and Ambrose are among the great saints of the Catholic Church.
Wednesday, August 28 is the feast of St. Augustine
Augustine was a sinner turned saint. He was baptized at 33, ordained priest at 36 and appointed bishop of Hippo at 41. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures, redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. He practiced great poverty and supported the poor, preached very often and prayed with great fervor until his death. Today, there are 2,785 Augustinian friars all over the world who live the Rule of St. Augustine. They live a life of contemplation, engage in pastoral ministry and promote Catholic education.
Thursday, August 29 is the Martyrdom of John the Baptist
The drunken oath of a king with a shallow sense of honor, a seductive dance and the hateful heart of a queen combined to bring about the martyrdom of John the Baptist. The greatest of prophets suffered the fate of so many Old Testament prophets before him: rejection and martyrdom. The “voice crying in the desert” did not hesitate to accuse the guilty, did not hesitate to speak the truth. Scripture tells us that many people followed John looking to him for hope, in anticipation of some great messianic power. John never allowed himself the false honor of receiving these people for his own glory. He knew his calling was one of preparation. When the time came, he led his disciples to Jesus.
In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah was maltreated and imprisoned. He was a man of God who suffered all his life for the sake of the true religion.
St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews, says that our Lord endured the cross for the sake of the joy which lay before him. A great part of that joy was our resurrection to a glorified existence in the future life which his cross was earning for us.
The Gospel preaches the word of God which continues to divide families, a word which, Jesus knew, would lead ultimately to his death. The fire he brings is the fire of love and the fire of hope.
St. Casimir Parish Pilgrimage of Mercy (Sept. 2 – 12, 2019)
A group of parishioners will travel to Lithuania on September 2 as our parish ambassadors of goodwill and friendship. They will be making courtesy calls to bishops, meet clergy and parish leaders. They will also visit the Hills of Crosses where pilgrims have been leaving crosses for more than hundred years, from mourning relatives of victims of the Russian regime, to strong defiance of religious oppression or simply to ask and thank God for favors granted.
You may write your petitions on the forms available at the vestibule which will be brought and presented to the Shrine of Divine Mercy, St. Casimir, Our Lady Gate of Dawn, Siluva, Mother of God in Trakai and Blessed Teofilius Matulionis. Let us remember in our prayers these parishioners for a safe and grace filled journey.
Pray for our parish and spiritual community
Let us continue offering special prayers for unity, understanding and cooperation in our parish community. God brought us all together here at St. Casimir’s in His great love and mercy to be one universal Church. Let us pray for our pastor that he may always have the graces and wisdom to lead us to Christ.
Pope Francis Message on His Apostolic Journey to the Baltic Seas
During his apostolic visit last September, Pope Francis acknowledged the experiences of Lithuanians that still bear the scars of the occupation period, anguish of those who were deported, uncertainty about those who never returned, and shame for those who were informers and traitors. He called for healing the memories of the past and take active part in the tasks of the present. He reminded everyone what it means to be a Church on the move, unafraid to go out and get involved, to go forth to the weak, neglected, those dwelling at the margins of life. To go forth also means to halt at times, to set aside worries and cares, to notice, to listen and to accompany those left on the roadside.
Welcome to our new website
We hope you find everything you need on our new website, built by the Parish Connect team of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Feel free to browse around and send us any feedback.