St. John Fisher Roman Catholic Church

30 Jones Hollow Road, Marlborough, CT 06447

What is your idea of heaven?
 
Does it include sunshine, gentle breezes, and a beach? Or, is there snow, a half-pipe, and a skating rink? Does it include an endless buffet of your favorite food and drinks?
 
What's wrong with this perception of eternal life? For the most part it involves a lack of imagination. This concept of eternal life merely magnifies what we know and enjoy. That certainly is understandable. After all, this way of living is all we have to go on.
 
What is faith's idea of eternal life?
 
Jesus teaches that those who have gone through death to resurrected life are transformed. They are no longer subject to the limitations of this world and live a new life in God.
 
Faith believes that all life, whether here or hereafter, fundamentally consists in a relationship with God, a relationship that is eternal because God is eternal. Death may put an end to a physical and familiar existence, but it cannot destroy that relationship. Our belief in the certainty of eternal life is not based on wishful thinking but on the fact of God's eternal love.
 
There is a second belief as a corollary  to the first one: that the relationship among us, especially between those we love and who love us, will go on. Why? Also because of God's eternal love. God knows these relationships bring us so much life, joy, and happiness in this life, that God unselfishly rejoices to continue them in eternal life.


-Fr. Sas, November 10 Homily  
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

How often does Jesus in Luke's gospel use an outsider, a helpless person, or those looked down upon by society to make his point; for example, Samaritans, children, a poor sick Lazarus, a blind beggar, lepers, and tax collectors? In today's Gospel we encounter a widow who, in that day and age, had no legal or social standing, and she teaches the disciples and us about perseverance in prayer.
 
Perseverance in prayer demands a whole different mindset. It means recognizing that our personal efforts by themselves are not enough, and our basis for security is primarily found in God and not in ourselves. Perseverance in prayer reveals a trust in God who will not abandon or ignore those who entrust themselves to God's power, care, and mercy.

From our Pastor...
 
At times it is tempting to numb ourselves with food, drink, or possessions when faced by the problems around us. And some do so, not out of insensitivity to others, but as a means of coping with the helplessness we feel in the face of the enormity of the problems. But if we are honest, we have to admit that there are those times when our personal lives leave little room for much concern about injustice or the very real complaints of hunger, poverty, and suffering of a very large portion of the word's population. We Americans can be seen by many as self-absorbed, arrogant, and (rightly or wrongly) as uncaring about the majority of people whose lives are very much poorer than our own. Look at the lines that formed overnight to buy the new gold i-Phone.

A great crowd began to tag along with Jesus on his journey to Jerusalem. My guess is that there was much excitement and speculation about what was going to happen once they got to Jerusalem, the political and religious capitol. Jesus was a gifted preacher and miracle worker who was unlike other religious authorities, for he even welcomed sinners and ate with them. Because of his working class background and small town roots, he was someone to whom the ordinary people could relate. Some were also wondering if he might be the Messiah. People were jumping on the bandwagon, and a party atmosphere was developing.

“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

Jesus invites us as his disciples into the same close relationship with the Father as he has. In doing so he is seeking to remove the ideas that God is distant or remote, or some volatile and cranky power who needs to be placated constantly, or approached only when absolutely necessary. This portrait is not new to the Scriptures. Similar images can be found in Isaiah, witnessed in Jeremiah, and celebrated in the Psalms. Why then has the image of God as harsh judge become the one so often associated with God by so many?

I'd like to introduce you to my friend Justin Case. Perhaps you already know him. He's the person who when taking a day trip to the beach packs extra towels, a hoodie, long pants, extra sunscreen, two blankets, a folding chair, a beach umbrella, snacks, two water bottles, and rain gear "just in case." When going for a week's vacation, he has to rent a U- Hall to bring all his things "just in case." He's the guy you are behind at the security line at the airport with his computer, cell phone, iPad, iPod, MP3 and an overstuffed carry-on. He's a bit of a pack rat, saving magazines and newspapers "just in case" he wants to refer to some article in the future. He's always prepared for whatever the weather and whatever the circumstance "just in case."

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