Years ago, before and just after I was ordained, I was able to direct a small choir group of people at a particular parish. The choir didn’t sing every week for mass but would assemble, rehearse, and function for special events. We began calling it the “Occasional Choir.” In a similar sort of way many people tend to be “Occasional Christians.” After the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 our churches were filled with “occasional Christians.” Their fear made them appeal to God in desperation for their safety and for the security of our own country. As time passed though, their devotion waned and the crowds thinned out to their normal levels. Others approach the divine with their own petitions when they are in desperate need but after they receive the blessing their attention turns elsewhere. They too are “occasional Christians.” In this weekend’s Biblical teachings we are challenged not to be “occasional Christians.” In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 14, verses 22 and following, Jesus had just fed the crowd of five thousand and sent His disciples out ahead of him in a boat while he dismissed the crowds and ascended a mountain top to be alone with God His Father. Meanwhile the boat is being tossed about by some wicked waves and Jesus appears, walking upon the water near them. They think of Him as a ghost and so are terrified but He assures them, “Take courage, It is I, do not be afraid” Mt 14:27. Don’t confuse this story with the similar one when Jesus is asleep in the boat with the disciples. In this case Peter appeals, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” Mt 14:28. Jesus says, “Come” and Peter begins his journey at first successfully but the storms frightened him too much and he begins to sink and then cries out like many “occasional Christians,” “Lord save me.” Our interactions with God Almighty and with Jesus His only begotten Son are not meant to be “occasional” but rather as constant as a faithful relationship should be. Jesus doesn’t wish to just be the “Life Guard” to rescue us but be our sturdy shelter and companion in the times of the storms within our lives. Let us take seriously Jesus’ invitation to “Come” to Him across the storms within our lives and know the security of His friendship as He walks with us as companions on a journey.
ST. MARTIN DE PORRES ANNUAL CHURCH PICNIC will take place on Sunday, August 27 th beginning with a
special 12Noon outdoor mass at Como Park Casino Shelter. Shared food, music, and fun will be the agenda for the
day together. Bring some food items to share. Hot dogs and Hamburgers provided. Sister Parishes most welcome.
Special Note: Due to the Como Park Special Mass at 12Noon, there will be no 9:30AM Mass at St. Martins Church
on that Sunday, August 27 th .