From the Pastor – July 12, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS, HUGH KEFFER!!! Yesterday, in a ceremony at the Cathedral Basilica of theSacred Heart, Hugh was ordained a deacon by Cardinal Tobin. His mission, like that of all deacons, is to serve thechurch in whatever way he can to enrich his life and the lives of the people he touches. Hugh will be able toproclaim the Gospel, preach the Word, celebrate baptisms, weddings, wakes and burial services, and serve at thealtar during liturgy. I had the privilege to vest Hugh with the stole and dalmatic, which are symbols of thediaconate ministry. CONGRATULATIONS, also to Maggie and Hugh’s family for their support of Hughduring his preparation for ordination. WELCOME, HUGH!! MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURMINISTRY TO THE PEOPLE OF SAINT JAMES PARISH!!! 
Do you ever think of what you want from the Lord? Some of us may want a miracle to convince us of hispresence in our lives. Some may want problems in life to go away. Others may want to deepen a relationship withthe Lord that already exists. There may be many other things we want from the Lord. But did you ever wonderwhat the Lord wants from us? We might get an idea from today’s Gospel.The Word of God is given to us so that we can continue to develop our relationship with God. Sometimes,though, we become distracted by what is happening in our lives and we lose touch with the impact of the Word.This is easy to do, especially during this pandemic because we are concerned about being safe and following thedirectives given to us. Yet, if we are open and receptive to the Word and what it expects of us, then we develop adeeper relationship with God that helps us through difficult times like this. We are invited and challenged to allowthe Word to permeate our being so that the Word becomes reflected in who we are and everything we do, nomatter the circumstances.  Our lives have to be the good soil to allow the Word to grow so that we radiate the Word to one another. Formost of us, this is not difficult because we are willing to hear what the Word is saying to us, not with our ears, butwith our heart. That is where the Lord touches us. Once the Word touches us, it also transforms us into an imageof the God who calls us as his own. We may be surprised by the way we speak and act towards each other. Thisbecomes a way of life for us all, and we can be grateful to God for allowing us the privilege of experiencing hispresence in the Word, and to be guided by the Spirit to live as a follower of the Lord.  There is no question that this summer will be a different one for many of us. While many will be enjoying time attheir houses at the shore, those of us who were planning to travel to other states or countries have to think aboutreturning home and going into quarantine for two weeks. That’s one of the effects of COVID-19 on our world.Whatever you and your family happen to do this summer, please be safe. Wear the masks and social distance fromothers. These may be part of the new normal for us. It is always better to take precautions than to be infectedwith COVID-19.  HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY SUMMER!!!  ~ Fr. Joe