Catholic Bishops of the United States have designated the Third Sunday in September each year as Catechetical Sunday. This is to emphasize the teaching ministry of the Word, done by parish catechetical leaders and parish catechists.

Today is CATECHETICAL SUNDAY in the Catholic Church of the United States. The theme this year is: “LIVING AS MISSIONARY DISCIPLES.” A missionary is one who goes out to proclaim the Good News, sometimes to people who have never heard of Jesus. Our parish catechists, under the direction of our DRE, NANCY CAPUTO, not just teach the Good News but reflect the Good News in their lives to our children, youth and adults. While each catechist may resound the faith differently, together they help us all experience the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives.

While the catechists may formally teach the Good News, each of us has a responsibility to also proclaim the Good News by the way we live our lives. This happens by virtue of our baptism, as we are all given the responsibility to reflect the presence of Jesus to the people we meet each day. We may not think of ourselves as catechists, but once we listen to and are formed by the Word, then we must be able to let others know what we know and believe, that Jesus is Messiah and Lord, Son of the Living God. This isn’t done in pulpits or on street corners but in the encounters and interactions we have with one another.

The letter in today’s bulletin from Cardinal Tobin emphasizes the seriousness of this responsibility for us all, especially parents. Today’s Gospel reflects an important aspect of being a disciple of Jesus, the ability to forgive each other. Some of us have a difficult time with this, yet if we are not able to forgive each other, then the message of the Gospel hasn’t really touched and converted us to the way of the Lord. WWJD

During the course of the last two weeks, we have seen two major hurricanes strike Texas, Florida, and countries in the Caribbean, as well as an earthquake in Mexico. The destruction of these events has left people without homes and whole areas devastated. It is incredible the amount of devastation and how peoples’ lives are radically changed. No matter who they are or where they live, they are our brothers and sisters. It is also incredible how people help one another, even if they are complete strangers. The human heart is much more powerful than any storm!

There is a story of a woman who went to buy a generator so that her father who was on medical equipment would be able to continue on it when they lost power. When she arrived at the store, she discovered that the last generator had been bought and she didn’t know what she would do. A man, a total stranger, gave her the one he had purchased after the brief encounter she had with him. Needless to say, she was overwhelmed and extremely grateful. People helping people. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us?

HAPPY CATECHETICAL SUNDAY!!!

~ FR. JOE

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