Our mission at St. Andrew Catholic Church is to become saints.
Following the example of our patron, St. Andrew, with humility we seek to:
Hear God’s call through the truth of the Catholic Church
Respond in love with acts of charity and mercy
Grow continuously through the sacraments and daily prayer and
Proclaim the Good News through our vocation.
This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew. Because we enjoy his patronage in Sumner, we get to transfer the Feast to this Sunday. The Feast day is actually November 30 and usually we would transfer it to the closest Sunday, but each year the Sunday closest to the Feast is the first Sunday of Advent, which cannot be trumped, and the Sunday before that is the Feast of Christ the King, which cannot be trumped either. So we bring it two weeks back to this Sunday so that we may celebrate our great patron, the Apostle St. Andrew, as a parish on Sunday. It’s much easier in Orting as the Feast of Ss. Cosmas and Damian is September 26 and there is nothing impeding us from moving it to the closest Sunday each year.
This weekend we are reminded of our stewardship, our responsibility to use and share the gifts that God has given us for the building up of His Kingdom. I am greatly edified by the example of our patrons. We have some great men to look up to as we seek to become saints, growing as catholic men and women into the person that God created us to be. Like St. Andrew we have to hear the call and seek to be with the Lord. In St. John’s Gospel St. Andrew is hanging out with Jesus’ cousin St. John the Baptist, he hears St. John say, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Immediately he leaves his teacher, and with the other St. John, follows Jesus. He heard something that piqued his interest and as he was looking for the Messiah, the Anointed one that was to come and save His people, he was attentive and listening for the call. He starts to follow Jesus and Jesus turns recognizing that there are two men trailing him and asks, “What are you seeking?” St. Andrew responds, “Where do you abide?” He wants to be with Jesus, to get to know Him. This is where our discipleship begins, a relationship with Jesus. Take some time to talk with Him and walk with Him as you discern how He is calling you to share your time, talent, and treasure with the community.
Ss. Cosmas and Damian were physicians by trade. In every age, one who practices medicine has a privileged place in society as their services are precious to society. Recognizing their gifts and ability to serve, they began to offer their services without charging. Can you imagine if there was a doctor in Sumner/Orting that didn’t charge? The line daily would be out the door. Ss. Cosmas and Damian trusted that they would be provided for as they used their gifts for the glory of God and knew that He would take care of them.
I am always inspired by the example of the saints. On my journey in France I got to visit the patron of priests, St. John Vianney. St. John did not excel at his studies and struggled to be ordained. After ordination they sent him to a little village in the middle of nowhere. He transformed that village into a place of pilgrimage and at the end of his life 10,000+ people were coming to Ars each year to make their confession to this holy priest. With the influx of more and more pilgrims, he slept less and less. At the end of his life, St. John Vianney slept only about 4 hours each night. We do have lines here for confession, but not that long yet. I pray that God will continue to use me as His instrument to share His Divine Mercy with all His children, especially in the confessional. I don’t have much to give myself, when I give of myself then I experience the greatest blessing. Visiting the holy priest of Ars, St. John Vianney inspired me to pour myself out more and more as your priest. I pray each day that I may be more attentive to God’s grace and use the gifts that He has given me to build up His kingdom here just as St. John Vianney did in Ars.
Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged.
Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.
For more of Father Jack's reflections click here