25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Feast of St. Joseph of Cupertino), September 24, 2017

If we want to know what it means to be last, all we have to do is look at the life of Joseph of Cupertino. His own mother thought he was good for nothing. He was probably the worst student in school—the object of every other kid’s ridicule and the student who most tried his teacher’s patience. He was turned away by religious communities he wanted to join. Finally admitted to the Franciscans, he was assigned to the stable, where he also slept next to the animals. When his ability to fly was evident, he was hidden away and practically kept as a prisoner.

But today Joseph is a saint in heaven—honored not only by our parish community but also by the faithful throughout the world and especially by God. In life Joseph may have been last but he is not last anymore.

Sad to say, there are still many people who know what it means to be last: those rejected for being too different, odd, ugly, untalented; the old and the sick who are forgotten or ignored; victims of injustice, poverty and persecution. The story of our patron saint offers hope to those who are last—but do they have to wait until heaven to get an upgrade? Today St. Joseph of Cupertino lifts up all of these people and holds them in front of us, reminding us that while others may put them last, God puts them first—and we should do the same.

see Matthew 20:1-16a

By: Rev. Gregory Kimm

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