Saint Theresa Parish

A Roman Catholic Community
5045 E. Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018
(602) 840-0850 Parish Office
(602) 840-0871 Parish Fax  

Parish Email

Parish Office Hours
Monday through Thursday
9:00AM-Noon & 1:00PM-5:00PM
Friday 9:00AM-Noon          Sunday 8:30AM-12:30PM

Closed Saturdays
& most Federal Holidays.

Liturgy Schedule
Saturday Vigil Mass 4PM
Sunday Masses
9:00AM (Liturgy with Children)
11:00AM and
5:00PM (Teen and Young Adult)

Daily Masses
Monday through Friday
6:30AM and Saturday at 8:00AM
Holy Day Masses as announced in bulletin prior to the Holy Day.

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 9:00AM to 10:00AM
Wednesday, 5:00PM to 6:00PM and by appointment


Rev. Charles G. Kieffer

Parochial Vicar 

(Associate Pastor)

Rev. Joachim Adeyemi

Rev. J.C. Ortiz

Assisting Priest

Rev. Paul Peri


Colin F. Campbell

Mark Kriese

Ralph Ulibarri


Saint Theresa Catholic School
5001 East Thomas Road
Phoenix, AZ 85018

(602) 840-0010 School Office
(602) 840-8323 School Fax



« Reflections - August 25, 2019 | Main | Reflections - August 11, 2019 »

Reflections - August 18, 2019

My Brothers and sisters,

At first glance, today’s Gospel (Luke 12:49-53) is a bit jolting.  What Jesus tells his disciples about halfway through the passage seems so out-of-character: “Do you think I have come to establish peace on the earth?  No, I tell you – but rather division.”

This doesn’t sound like something we’d expect from the mouth of the Good Shepherd, the Prince of Peace.  Not peace, but division?  Jesus goes on to describe how households – families – will be divided on account of him.  Somehow, this seems antithetical to the message of the Gospel… particularly if we recall the joyous proclamation of the angels at the birth of Jesus, as described in the second chapter of Luke: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Lk. 2:14).  

What are we to make of this statement of Jesus in today’s Gospel?   You may recall that the Gospel passages of the past two weeks have dealt with the necessity of the disciple trusting in God, and not in material possessions or wealth.  We heard about the wealthy farmer who builds new warehouses to store him many possessions, thinking he can then sit back and “eat drink and be merry” – only to have God tell him “This night your life will be required of you; to whom will all your possessions and wealth go?”  Last week, we heard Jesus telling his disciples: “Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy.  For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”  This week’s Gospel passage follows directly on last week – in fact, in these three weeks, the Church has given us a continuous reading of the twelfth chapter of Luke.  The “undercurrent” of this entire chapter is that the disciple of Jesus cannot rely for ultimate support on those things that so many others rely on: wealth, possessions, power… and now this week, even family.  The disciples trust must ultimately be on God – and God alone.

Does mean that money, possessions, success and the closest human relationships are somehow bad?  Of course not – unless they eclipse the place of God in our lives.  For the person who commits to truly following Jesus Christ, all of these blessings must take their place only after God – who is central and most important in the disciple’s life.  The disciple is called to prioritize her or his relationship with God over all else, trusting that everything else will then fall into place according to God’s will.

No one says that this is easy – and, for most of us, it’s something that we have to strive for day by day.  Some days, we will be more successful at keeping God at the center of our lives than other days.  It’s particularly challenging when we run into those situations where – as the Gospel describes – our living a life of discipleships puts us at odds with those who are “nearest and dearest,” because they follow a path incompatible with the one we’ve chosen.  But that’s exactly when we can take strength in what Jesus tells his disciples a little earlier in this chapter: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom” (Lk 12:32).  


Grace and peace in Christ,

Rev. Charles G. Kieffer