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22nd Sunday

22nd Sunday

Dear OLPH Family and Friends,

This weekend we celebrate Labor Day which for many of us in “the old days” marked the end of summer vacation and the beginning of the new school year.   Now, sadly, it seems that every school has a different commencement date and very little consideration of families who might have children in different schools.  Historically it was a celebration of God’s Gift of Labor.  After all, labor is a gift of God.  It is a gift in which we are allowed to share our God given talents and to appreciate all that others do.   For those of us happy in our employment, Thank God!  Let us pray for those who are unemployed or underemployed. May we always consider it as a gift of all those talents that God has given us to share!

Religion is not something we do on Sunday.  It’s not, primarily, observing certain laws, saying certain prayers, or performing certain rituals. That’s what many people in Jesus’ time had turned religion into.   To observe these rituals was to please God.  Not to observe them was to sin.  In short, observing rituals became identified with being religious.

Jesus made it clear that religion isn’t something you do at certain times on certain days.  It’s not saying certain prayers or performing certain rituals.  It’s a thing of the heart called love.   – love of God and love of neighbor. Today’s Scripture reading invite us to look into our hearts and to ask ourselves to what extent the words of Jesus apply to us:  “This  people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  They invite us to look into our own heart and ask ourselves to what extent the words of James in the second reading apply to us:  “Act on God’s word.  If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves.”

Whether or not the school your children attend has started or not, may this be a tremendous year for all!   Peace and Blessings!

Fr. Ron