Next Sunday, our parishioner Command Master Chief Mark Kochanowicz, will retire from the US Navy after thirty years of service. We warmly congratulate him on this milestone moment and profoundly thank him for his service to our country! May God bless Mark, his family and all who serve our nation in the Armed Services.
Our second reading for this weekend reminds us that we have a great multitude of heroes, our brothers and sisters in heaven, who encourage us to persevere. It’s such a short reading but so encouraging I am reprinting it here. It is from Hebrews 12:1-4: “Brothers and sisters: Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God. Consider how he endured such opposition from sinners, in order that you may not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood.”
Amen, Amen! May we indeed keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, our leader and perfecter of Faith! In light of all that is going on in our Church, in our country, in our world, we can easily grow weary, discouraged, fainthearted, perhaps tempted to despair. But the Scriptures continuously remind us that we are not the ones in charge, that our hope is in Jesus Christ, that all our trust must be placed in Him, in His Cross and His Resurrection!
Although I am not a runner, I hear that long-distance runners sometimes hit a wall when they feel they cannot go on any further. With proper training though, they know when to push through it, so to go onto victory. If we are at such a wall personally, the author of Hebrews encourages us to consider the cloud of witnesses around us, to rid ourselves of every burden and sin, to not grow weary or lose heart, and to persevere in running the race, fixing our eyes, our minds, our hearts on Jesus Christ whose passion, death and resurrection is the key that conquers this world around us and leads us forth into His everlasting Kingdom.
And so my friends, I am accepting this advice personally and I encourage you, and all of us, to do so. For our heavenly Father has given us, “Jesus Christ …the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
God bless you, God love you,