Who do they say that I am? September 14, 2018

Fr. Francisco Alejo, OFM

Today in the gospel reading, we hear Jesus ask his apostles, “Who do they say that I am?” Peter replies, “You are the Christ.” After this answer, he begins to explain to them the meaning of “Christ,” as the revelation of the mystery and the path of his own mission, inspired by the figure of the son of man, the servant of God that we hear about in the first reading. The pathway to Easter had to pass through Calvary. Jesus did not seek his passion nor his suffering; he accepted it as part of his fidelity to his mission of service and salvation. Sometimes we like easy things, and we can think that the Christian faith is protection against conflicts or a series of values that lead to a peaceful and successful life; we do not like to look at life as a series of challenges that we must overcome with the help of our faith. Reflecting on Jesus’ question, we can also ask ourselves other questions: “What is the meaning of my life?” “What is the Christian reason for my existence?”

It has been repeated many times that the Christian faith is not to believe in something, but in someone, and to follow his path. The point of our faith is to discover Jesus, to seriously commit to Christ, and to live his gospel and put our faith into practice. The Apostle James also questioned us: what is the use of saying one has faith, if one does not have works? Christian faith is committed to its brothers and sisters in need. How beautiful when we see people plan charitable organizations and works into their annual budget. Here in our parish we have so many people supporting people in need. God bless your generosity.

We have many upcoming Franciscan celebrations! On the 17th of this month we will commemorate that Saint Francis received the blessing of the stigmata, in September 1224 on Mount Alvernia, Assisi, Italy, celebrating at the 7:30 a.m. and 12 noon Masses. On October 3, we will celebrate Transitus, the eve of the death of Saint Francis, at 7:00 p.m. in the Mission Church. Everyone is invited to participate as we remember with what attitude Francis welcomed his death, calling out “Come, Sister Death”. On October 4th, the Solemn Feast of St. Francis, patron of the Franciscan friars, come to celebrate with a bilingual Mass at 7:00 p.m. in the Serra Center, followed by a reception. Also, don’t forget the Blessing of the Animals on October 6th, at 10 a.m. in front of the Historic Mission. Join in all together to celebrate these beautiful celebrations of the Franciscan family!

Lastly, we continue to pray for Fr. Vince and the group of pilgrims who are visiting the Franciscan Missions of California. Happy Sunday!

Fr. Francisco