My Immensely Missed and Most Dear Ones,
I’m the kind of person who, in my humanity and when things have gotten a bit rough, tend to start thinking that just maybe God is a little bit too busy for me. Sound familiar? I look at all the serious, even dangerous things going on around us, and I begin to think that God’s hands are full enough as it is. How could He possibly have time for my little complaints, insecurities and questionings? How human of me! I can’t remember right now who it was that responded to a person who was complaining along these lines with this question, “Just how small is your God anyway?” What a wake-up call! In all that is going on around us, and in our time of having to remain distanced from each other, GOD IN HIS GREATNESS HAS NOT ABANDONED HIS BELOVED PEOPLE! I’ve thought about this all week, and the following words came to me from Hebrews 6. Let me share verses 10-12 with you today:
“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have demonstrated for his name by having served and continuing to serve the holy ones. We earnestly desire each of you to demonstrate the same eagerness for the fulfillment of hope until the end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who, through faith and patience, are inheriting the promises.”
Our Lord hasn’t brought us this far along the journey just to toss us away in the midst of pandemic, protests and pollution. In these days I believe He is practically shouting to us, “Here I am! It is I; don’t be afraid.” Did God abandon Daniel in the lions’ den after he had been so faithful? No. Did he abandon Peter when he was sinking in the storm and was just trying to get closer to the Lord? No. Abandon us now? NO! In this same sixth chapter of Hebrews, the write speaks about God making a great promise to Abraham, but before obtaining it, Abraham had to journey to where God was leading him, undergo a number of difficult experiences and all the while remain faithful to the One who was calling and leading him. Verse 15 says, “And so, after patient waiting (another translation says ‘patiently enduring’), he obtained the promise.” Dear ones, again, God isn’t abandoning us even though these days are difficult and often try our patience and endurance. I believe He is closer to us today than ever before, and He is absolutely faithful to each of us whom He has called to be His own. So, don’t abandon your hope, don’t abandon your faith, don’t abandon your personal covenant with Him who continues to call us forward.
A little change to the drive-by reception of Holy Communion for this weekend. With there being so much smoke in the air, and given my rather well-known pulmonary problems, it doesn’t make any intelligent sense for me to stand outside to distribute the Eucharist. The schedule for the drive-by reception of Holy Communion will remain the same as it has been:
- SATURDAY from 5:00 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.
- SUNDAY from 8:30 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. and then from 10:00 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.
Some of our wonderful and faithful Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have volunteered to help me by distributing Communion to all of you. The procedure is the very same as it has been the last number of weekends. The only change is that I won’t be outside for the communication. I will have offered my private Mass for our community, so there will certainly be a sufficient number of consecrated hosts for all who wish to receive the Eucharist. Of course, it’s my wish that all the smoke will be cleared out of here by the following weekend so I can again see your smiling eyes looking at me above your masks – some of which are incredibly colorful and clever!
Please accept just these few lines for today. No matter how long it takes before we can consider reopening the parish even on a limited basis, please know that all of you are constantly in my prayers, and those prayers are steeped in joy and thanksgiving for each of you. All I ask is that you keep me in your prayers too.
With deepest brotherly love in Christ,