From the Pastor – August 9, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS to ANNE MARIE CATTANE & ADIN SOTO, who were baptized last Sunday atthe 9:00 AM Mass. They were supposed to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, but COVID-19 prevented churchesfrom being open for Holy Week and Easter.  As we continue through this pandemic, it seems that there are some people who are disregarding the wearing offace masks and the need to social distance from each other. As a result, the number of people in our state whohave contracted COVID-19 has increased. As much as we might dislike wearing masks and keeping a distance of6 feet between us, these things are what we must continue to do to keep safe. Most of us adhere to the protocols,which is a good thing. It’s about our safety and health. I am glad to see that those of us who come to church arewearing our masks.  In today’s Gospel, the apostles see Jesus walking on the water, while they are in a boat that was being tossed bythe wind and waves. They thought he was a ghost. I am sure if we were in a boat in a similar situation, and we sawJesus walking toward us, we would be just as frightened. After Jesus calmed Peter and the wind and waves, theapostles probably didn’t know what to think. They were also probably too scared to say anything.  This passage reminds us that Jesus appears to us in various ways. We believe he appears in the Word, which is lifegiving and reassures us of the importance of its message. We believe he appears in the Eucharist, in the form ofbread and wine that become his Body and Blood which nourish and sustain us. But he also appears through eachof us as we are sent forth to touch others with the gift that Jesus is for us. How many times in life are wesurprised when a person appears almost out of nowhere and says or does something for us? Or when an eventoccurs that we never thought could happen? These can be times when Jesus appears to us, reassuring us of hiscare and concern, and using other people and other events to remind us of this. Being a follower of Jesus meansthat we have to be open to him and all he offers us, no matter what it is. The same thing happens to others whenwe appear in their lives and offer them the presence of Jesus through our care and concern for them.  These may not be dramatic experiences, but they can be gentle and subtle reminders of Jesus’s presence in ourlives. We always have the opportunity to touch that intimate relationship of Father and Son, and to celebrate it inwho we are as God’s people, what we believe, and how we speak and act with one another. Sometimes, though,we can easily separate this relationship from what we say and do because we forget that it’s all about God. We arethe instruments he uses to bring his Good News to others, and Jesus has shown us how to do that. Jesus sends usforth to help build the kingdom of God on earth, and we can’t accomplish this if we are disconnected from theFather and Son. We are invited to be participants in the kingdom so that others will know what we know and experience the kingdom through our faith and our efforts.  Our Parish Festival is usually held the last week of April. But because of COVID-19, we postponed it untilOctober 13. Since we are still in the midst of the pandemic, we have decided to cancel the festival this year.Hopefully, we will be able to resume it next April. But we will still have the 50/50 which will be held on Saturday,October 17. There will be more information forthcoming, but I wanted you to be aware of our decision.