Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Happy Father's Day! God bless all you men whom God has called to lead your family. May God give you the grace to fulfill that vocation to which you have been called.
Being a father carries many responsibilities. No wonder so many run away from this calling. You must provide for your families materially, spiritually and emotionally. You must bring home the bacon, be a leader of prayer, and be a rod and staff that give your families courage.
Someone has pointed out that our understanding of God, the Father, is heavily influenced by our experience of our earthly fathers. No human father is perfect, or even close to it. We are all dysfunctional to some extent. But, if we have experienced kindness and compassion in our fathers on earth, then that will go a long way to trusting our Father in heaven. And unfortunately the reverse is also true: Bad paternal experiences make it difficult to pray.
May you all enjoy the warmth and affection of your families today.
Each of the four evangelists has his own distinctive emphasis in the Gospel. St. Mark highlighted the humanity of Jesus. He emphasized those truths which reveal that the Son of God really is the Son of Mary. In today's Gospel while Jesus was preparing to preach to the crowd, Jairus, an official of the synagogue, asked him to go with him to his home to cure his little daughter who was critically ill. St. Mark leaves it to us to imagine the frustration of Jesus being called away from His ministry of preaching, but he shows that Jesus responded with compassion to the man's plea. Then a woman from the crowd interrupted Jesus by touching His cloak. Jesus insisted on knowing who had touched Him, not to admonish her, but to be able to look directly at her and tell her, "Daughter, your faith has cured you."
I begin with a pot filled with dirt. Of course you cannot eat the dirt, but there is nutrition in the soil and to get the nutrients inside of us we must transform it into something edible. We do this by planting a seed that becomes something edible – like a carrot. Scientifically we are more sophisticated than farmers were in Jesus' day. But if you have ever grown a garden, you know that in all the world there is only one process that makes food, sunlight on a green plant, and still it is a mystery- a process that transforms a seed in the dirt to become our food.
It's Pentecost! Receive the Holy Spirit! It seems like we have been hearing an awful lot about the Holy Spirit lately. Earlier in the month many of our young people received their confirmation; they were sealed with the Holy Spirit. Then at the Ascension of Jesus we heard of the promise that the Holy Spirit would come and guide us. Now we hear of the actual decent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles! For some of us the Holy Spirit plays a huge role in our daily lives. Those of us who have made a Cursillo weekend are very familiar with the prayer to the Holy Spirit. And those who have been through the RCIA program in the last few years are also familiar with this prayer because I use it to start each class that I teach. Why do I start my classes that way? Because I feel that it is essential that we call on the Holy Spirit to open our hearts AND our minds when we begin to study and learn about our Catholic faith. I pray that each of us is open to the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives and that we each feel the Peace that Jesus offered to His Apostles when he entered the locked room and said, "Peace be with You."
This weekend we also celebrate Memorial Day! It is the day when we remember all those who died in the service of our country. Originally this holiday was known as Decoration Day and was to commemorate those who died during the Civil War. This weekend has come to be known as the beginning of the summer season. Many of us have vacations planned and are anxiously looking forward to getting out of town for some rest and recreation. Others are simply settling in for a long hot summer. Regardless of whether you are going on a long journey or staying in town all summer, remember that your Church family will be praying for you until we see you again.
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We have finally finished installing the Sacred Heart window in our church. It has been a long but fruitful process. The Sacred Heart is the symbol of who we are as a Catholic Community. It is from the heart of Jesus that water and blood poured out when he was struck with a lance. This water and blood symbolize the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist. The Heart of Christ symbolizes the mercy and compassion of God for us.