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    St. Mary's Parish
    211 Avenue O South
    Saskatoon, SK
    S7M 2R6

    Phone: 306 244 2983
    Fax: 306 242 6461

  • Mass Times

    Sunday Masses
    Saturday: 7pm
    Sunday: 9am, 11am,
    1pm Aboriginal Mass with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
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    Wednesday: 9am, 7:15pm

    Perpetual Help Devotions at both Wednesday Masses

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    Saturday: 4-5pm, 6-6:45pm
    Sunday: 12:30-1pm (Guadalupe Parish)
    Sunday: 3-4pm in Spanish
    Wednesday: 6:30-7pm

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    8:30am to 12 Noon
    12:30pm to 4:00pm
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13th Sunday in Ordinary Time

God’s Call and Our Response

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great Lutheran theologian who was martyred for the Faith by the Nazis, states that discipleship requires we make a fundamental decision to follow Jesus and accept the consequences of that decision. The ultimate cost of discipleship for Bonhoeffer was his own execution on April 9, 1945 when he was hanged by the Nazis for his participation in the German resistance. While discipleship for some people compels them to decide between life and death, few of us will be asked to pay this ultimate price. Genuine discipleship however does call us to live in a way that at times may require a significant degree of heroism. Today’s readings demonstrate the cost of discipleship. Elisha was required to leave his parents if he wished to be a disciple of the great prophet Elijah. Since kinship was the strongest tie in the ancient Near Eastern world, to leave one’s family involved more than emotional detachment. Some saw it as turning away from one’s most basic responsibilities, as well as from the support and protection of this fundamental family bond. Only with grave reason did one set them aside. Elisha was not forced to follow Elijah. Nonetheless he made his decision. Not only did he leave home but he also destroyed the farming tools of his former occupation. In this way he demonstrated in a powerful way that the break with his former life was complete and there was no turning back. In effect, he has made a total change of life! If we read the Gospel carefully, we will find that only some of the very closest disciples of Jesus were asked to leave everything and follow Jesus. Yet this story seems to imply that everyone was expected to make the same kind of radical sacrifice. There seems to be a contradiction here. Are some of us expected to follow Jesus more closely than others, you may ask? While it is safe to say that the biblical writers would argue that commitment to the service of God takes priority over all other valid commitments, there are many different ways in which this commitment can unfold. We know, for example, that Martha, Mary, and Lazarus were very close to Jesus, and very committed to his mission, and yet they were not numbered among his constant companions. The nature of their relationship with Jesus demonstrates that there are many different ways and paths in which our commitment to Jesus and his mission can unfold. It is no different today. Not everyone’s call to follow Jesus requires leaving one’s family. For many of us it is precisely within the family that discipleship expresses itself. The point is that the commitment be total and complete. Parents are certainly required to commit themselves wholeheartedly to their children, and adult children often find themselves in similar situations with their aging parents. It may be true that some occupations, by their very nature, demand more of us than do others. Yet the point remains that regardless of our call in life, discipleship requires unselfish commitment. Paul provides us with some direction for living out our discipleship. He exhorts the early Christians: “Stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery,” and be faithful to the primary commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Slavery to which he refers is the erroneous notion that fidelity to the Jewish Law (i.e., the Torah) or to its religious practices is what saves, rather than faith in Jesus, and a way of life that reflects that faith. For many of us, following Jesus is a philosophical matter: we agree with his basic teachings and are willing to maintain membership in this Church. But we are not going to sleep in a field or risk life and lamb. Let’s be serious suggests Scripture scholar Alice Camille and do our best!. There’s a big difference between having our names in the Church records and getting our names recorded in salvation history. If we don’t want to join the ranks of those who intended to follow Jesus but never got around to it, we have to widen our imagination as to what it means to go where Jesus is willing to go (ibid.). This whole question of radical discipleship is a very difficult one but I think it helps for us to consider today God’s powerful (and consoling) Word in today’s Responsorial Psalm. The Psalm says very beautifully that adherence to God (and to God’s Son Jesus Christ) is really and additionally a very deep orientation and Faith in who God is. As disciples, we are called to make the joyful proclamation “You are my chosen portion, O Lord” – a prayer we can direct to both God and to God’s Son (Christ). Listen to some of what else we proclaim in Liturgy in the Responsorial Psalm on this day: “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you; the Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; … I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me; I keep the Lord always before me; because my Lord is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices … You show me the path of life and in your presence there is fullness of joy.” (Psalm 16) This kind of deep Faith constitutes true discipleship, whether I am called (also) to leave my family or not. Praise God!

06 – June 26, 2016


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