From the Pastor – July 19, 2020

There is no question that this summer is unlike any other that we have known in our lifetime. The places we liketo visit have changed their procedures, events, including wedding receptions, have been canceled, and many whowould have traveled have changed plans because of COVID-19. Most of us have chosen to stay home or close tohome to protect ourselves, our families, and those with whom we come in contact.  This is like the message in today’s Gospel. As weeds were sown in a field of wheat, our lives have been changedbecause of COVID-19. The question is: “What do we do about it?” We can easily complain that our lives havebeen changed and wallow in our misery. Or we can continue to live our lives, trusting in our God who watchesover all of us. This does not mean that we have to be reckless in what we do, for we should always protectourselves and our loved ones. Maybe we don’t like wearing masks or socially distancing from each other, butthese are what we need to do to be safe. Of course, in the time of Jesus, there were no protections from disease.Even through the early part of the twentieth century, more people died of disease than anything else. There wereno antibiotics or vaccines that could cure or prevent disease at the time.  So, what does this mean for us? It means that we not only have to be vigilant, but we have to be faithful to thecall of the Lord. The Gospel challenges us to grow in our faith by tapping into the relationship of Father and Sonand allowing the Word to become an intricate part of our lives. We are the sign of the love of Jesus for eachother, and we are sent to help make the Kingdom of God real for others. So, how do we do that? We accomplishthis by reflecting the compassion, the kindness, and the forgiveness of God and recognizing that we are all equalin the eyes of God. When our society understands that each of us is a child of God, then maybe there will be adifferent attitude or behavior among us. No one is better than the other. We are all challenged with the task ofhelping build God’s kingdom on earth by virtue of our baptism. This requires all of us to recognize that each ofus has a responsibility to allow the presence of Christ to be reflected in who we are and how we live.  The kingdom of God has to take hold of us, form us, guide us, and be reflected in everything we do. I am awarethat we all know this, but the Gospel reminds us of the seriousness of this for one another and all we meet. It isalways good to be reminded of this from time to time, especially in the difficult days we are experiencing now. Nomatter the situation, we are still the Body of Christ and have to live what this means.  In the name of our entire parish, and myself, I want to say CONGRATULATIONS to our children whocelebrated First Eucharist on Saturday. No matter what, we celebrated the Body and Blood of Christwith our children and their families. The Eucharist remains the same, whether we celebrate during thepandemic or not. The Eucharist is an encounter with the Lord that nourishes, nurtures, and challengesus at the same time!  Please be safe as we continue through the summer!  HAPPY SUMMER!!!  ~ Fr. Joe