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July 30th, 2023 | The 23rd Times

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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

During this week of the 17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, we celebrate a few important memorials: St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. John Vianney. These saints are the pearls of great price in the salvation history of the Church.  They are well known for their ‘treasure hunt’ of the Kingdom of God.  St. John Vianney is the patron saint of all the diocesan priests and parish priests. He devoted time to save/treasure the souls of thousands of people through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. We have Diocesan priests and religious priests working in several parishes in our diocese. In our parish, Fr. Simon is a religious priest, whereas Fr. Mike and I are Diocesan Priests. On the feast of St. John Vianney, Friday, August 4th,  please remember to pray for all the priests.

There is a story about an owner of a small business who was a friend of the poet, Olavo Bilac from Brazil.  One day he asked him, “Mr. Bilac, I need to sell my small farm, the one you know so well. Could you please write an ad for me for in the newspaper?”

Bilac wrote: “For sale: A beautiful property, where birds sing at dawn in extensive woodland, bisected by the brilliant and sparkling waters of a large stream. The house is bathed by the rising sun. It offers tranquil shade in the evenings on the veranda.”  He sent the note to his friend.

A few days later, the poet met his friend and asked whether he had sold the property.  The friend replied, “I’ve changed my mind. When I read what you had written, I realized that the treasure was mine.”

This weekend’s readings talk about searching and finding the treasure of the Kingdom of God. This treasure could be found and owned only with the help of wisdom which again is a gift of God Himself.  In the first reading, King Solomon asked for the wisdom from God.

The second reading tells us for whom God gives wisdom. “We know that all things work for good for those who love God”. When we search for wisdom with love for God, we find the treasure.

Jesus has also said that the Kingdom of God is among you. (Luke 17:21) Let us pray to God like King Solomon for the wisdom to find and treasure the Kingdom of God.

Next week, children will start their new academic year in school. May God bless them with  knowledge and skills to find and act upon the wisdom of God now and in the future.

God Bless,

Fr. Jay Raju