An old lady in Scotland is so poor that the community had to support her, even though her son had come to America and had become very rich. “Why doesn’t Johnny help her mother?” the neighbors often whispered. One day a neighbor dropped in and suggested that her son would surely help her if he knew of her need. Mother-like, she defended her son: “Oh, Johnny is so thoughtful, he needs all his money. He’s a very good boy. See, he writes every week, the nicest letters. And in every letter he sends a picture. They are strange pictures and I like them very much.” “Did you save them?” asked the neighbor. “Oh, sure,” replied the mother, as she reached for her Bible. “I save all his letters and put the pictures in the Good Book.”

Between the leaves of the Bible the visitor found hundreds of United States bank notes of checks, more than enough to keep the old mother in comfort. She had great treasures but she did not know it. Jesus just told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a hidden treasure which a man found in a field. He sold all he had and bought that field. The treasure Jesus is talking about is our FAITH, which makes us members of the Kingdom of heaven. The treasure is our faith in Christ, our belief that He is both God and Man; that He saved us on a cross, that He will take us into heaven if we are faithful to Him. Like the innocent mother in our story too, many of us do not realize what a treasure we have in the truths of Christ.

All of us should be like the man in the parable, ready to “sell” all we have to get to get the Faith and keep the Faith. Thank God, practically all of us have this faith. It was given to us with little or no effort in our part. But, to keep that faith, to nourish and strengthen it, demands some sacrifice. For example, some of you, young and old alike, would have preferred to sleep a little longer on Sunday morning or go to fishing or sports rather than go to Mass. But you “sold” that extra sleep and fun, for the treasure of Holy Mass and Holy Communion. Many of you, have contributed to Sunday plate collections, to St. Vincent’s collection or to Peter’s Pence. You exchange a few dollars or many dollars for the treasure of helping our parish and the needy as Christ commanded.

In the Sunday Mass, we offer to God the bread and wine which is brought up from your midst to show that it comes from all of us. God turns that bread and wine into the Body and Blood of His Son, and presents them to us in Holy Communion. What a small price for such a great treasure. May Christ help all of us renew our faith, renew our determination to live our faith in Him – at any cost! God bless!

#2 A Joke from St, Joe: A Sunday catechist asked her third graders: “Are there cows, horses, birds, elephants and other animals in Heaven?” Without hesitation, one boy answered: “Of course!” “What makes you say that?” asked the teacher. The boy replied, “Jesus said: ‘Go to the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature’.” That’s right!

This 17th Sunday in OT, covers the 1st week of August. On July 31st, we celebrate the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the great founder of the Society of Jesus, known as Patron Saint of retreatants and soldiers. August 1 is the memorial of St. Alphonsus Liguori, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, also the Founder of the Redemptorist Order. St. John Vianney, Priest and Patron of priests and parish clergy is celebrated on August 4. This is also the First Friday of the Month and the devotion to the Sacred Heart is Optional. But the First Saturday that follows is our regular Mass for our adorers and devotees to Our Lady of Fatima. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie