From the Pastor – July 5, 2020

There is no question that we have all adjusted to the effects of COVID-19, whether we like it or not. The concernis not just for now, but what will happen in the fall when everything is open, including the schools. It is very easyto become weary of all of these demands and wonder what life will be like when we can get back to “normal,”whatever that is. All of these changes may even make some people want to give up and hibernate when all of thisis over. Unfortunately, no one knows when the end will be and if it will happen in the near future.  Hopefully, as we continue to celebrate both weekday and weekend Masses, we will receive a renewed sense ofhope about what happens to all of us. In today’s Gospel, we are reminded by Jesus that he has given us an insightinto his relationship with the Father. This relationship is what sustains us and nurtures us, as it also encourages usto live as followers of the Lord. There should be a great deal of comfort in this relationship and in knowing thatthe Lord is watching over us and caring for us through our responses to each other. If there is one thing we havediscovered from the pandemic, it is that we have become more attentive to one another, no matter where wemeet each other. But this is inherent in the message of the Gospel since Jesus showed us how to do this.  Jesus invites us to place our burdens on him, as he replaces them with his abiding presence and love. Whether wehave struggled with being at home during COVID-19, dealing with children who had to learn online and not inschool with their friends, or trying to deal with parents who may be frail and elderly, Jesus offers us a respite forour lives. As a result of this, we can be energized to go forward as a sign of hope for others, as we reflect thepresence of Jesus to them through us. As we move around more freely now that the stay-at-home order is lifted,we do have to be careful not to jeopardize ourselves or others by acting before thinking.  The time spend around the Lord’s Table, reflecting on the Word and Breaking Bread together reassures us thathis presence is as real today as it was before the pandemic. We always have to remember that just as Jesus is thesign of the father’s love for us, we are a sign of Jesus for all we meet. As we seek comfort from the Lord, we maybe the only person who offers comfort to those we meet each day. It might be our personality, our demeanor, orwhat we say and do that helps others experience the gentleness of our God.  REMINDER: Now that there are more adults walking and riding bicycles, and more children playing in thestreets or riding bikes, we need to be extra careful as we drive around town. With the end of school, manychildren feel they are free and want to enjoy time with their friends. As we try to keep ourselves and others safeby wearing masks and social distancing, we also want to keep our children safe as they try to enjoy life during thispandemic.  HAPPY ORDINARY TIME!!!~ 
Fr. Joe