By Jason Lillis, Coordinator of Family Life
For the 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

As I read this morning’s gospel, it could be easy to miss the profundity of Jesus’ final statement: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Not only is Christ with us when we meet as a community for Mass, but Christ is also present when we gather even in the smallest numbers. It speaks to the tremendous importance and vulnerability that comes with gathering in God’s name. As creatures of habit, it is easy for us to think of these gatherings as “the norm”, “the usual”, or “the commonplace”.

This day-to-day-ing of the encounter with Christ carries the danger of numbing ourselves to his presence. One of the ways our ministries help awaken us to the presence of Christ in these gatherings is by going on retreat. By stepping away from the day to day, fasting from what is known to explore that which God holds out to us in unknown places. What might you gain by retreating from your “usual”? How might our growth during retreats enliven our brothers and sisters around us? 

Two upcoming retreats during the month of October are the Men’s Ministry retreat and the Gay and Lesbian Ministry retreat. Both will go out from Raleigh to St. Francis Springs Prayer Center.  If you have questions regarding either retreat, please contact me at 919-847-8205 x244, or via e-mail at

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