We believe our God fulfills commitments and promises, and over the centuries God entered into covenant relationships with the Chosen people. God entered into covenants with Abraham, Moses, the people of Israel and Moses’ successor Joshua delivering the people from captivity in Egypt to the promised land. In today’s passage Joshua is preparing for death; he invites the people to renew their covenant relationship with the Lord God, calling them to be good stewards. To remember all that God had done for them, the many blessings they received, the inheritance promised to them over the ages and to share their land. Recognizing all of that Joshua and his household promised to serve the Lord, no matter what. As St. Paul writes, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38). We have a choice to serve God or not. What is our choice?
Like Joshua and Paul, how do we profess our fidelity to God, to the Lord, to Jesus? How do we respond to God’s everlasting love and mercy? How do we use the gifts and talents God gives to us? There are so many ways and so we are asking you over the next few weeks to consider sharing your talents with the Saint Anthony faith community by promising to help in some area of parish life. Necessarily that service, must be grounded in daily faithful prayer, as well as committing to pray for personal needs, and the larger needs of our community and pray for the whole church that is dedicated to the care of others. We may sometimes not be faithful to God in ways that we intend but we can strive to be faithful to God, with God’s grace and assistance like Joshua.
Finally, later in September, I will ask you to consider how you can be generous, how each family can be generous in supporting the church so that we can further the mission entrusted to us by the Gospel, to teach, to catechize, to serve others and to be a place of hope and refuge. We can do all these things with the help of God’s grace and God’s endless love and mercy. Let us reflect on Romans, chapter 8.
Father Larry Hendel, Pastor