Pastor's Note

This past Saturday we had a wonderful Bazaar, but more importantly, I saw a wonderful community.  I was here last year for the Bazaar in June but perhaps because I was so new, it impacted me much less than this year’s.  Last year I saw people I didn’t know working long hours in service of the community of the parish.  But this year, I saw people that I know and love.

We are blessed with amazing parishioners who worked from Tuesday to Friday sorting the donations from 9am to 9pm at the earliest, and, we have to be honest, in halls that aren’t exactly cool.  On the day of the bazaar so many came out to operate the different booths— some people arriving at 6am and not leaving until 5pm after clean-up.  I’m amazed at the energy level (I, myself, had to take a nap at noon) and the extraordinary level of commitment and affection people have for Lourdes.  We can’t thank enough all of those who made the bazaar possible and such a success.

This year’s bazaar reminds me of what we hear from St. Paul in the Second Reading.  Paul write, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”, and earlier, that we “have clothed [our]selves with Christ.”  Our fundamental identity is not in the things that are on the outside; rather it is what is in the inside, that is, faith and love of Jesus Christ.  Through Christ, we can come to see more clearly who God is, thus who we are.  We “are all sons and daughters of God through faith.”

The pronouncement of our identity does not come from the things we do, nor from what others say or think about us.  It comes freely and directly from God.  It is often difficult for us to believe that we are the beloved sons and daughters of God, despite Christ’s constant proclamation that this is indeed the case.  If we are tempted to doubt what God has said about ourselves our first step is to understand the source of that temptation.  The source can only be the evil one who does not want us to see ourselves through God’s eyes.  And so, we seek to silence that temptation and dispose our hearts to be more free to accept and receive the free gift of the Father’s love.

In the Gospel Jesus asks each one of us “But who do you say that I am?”  Let us listen to our hearts and let us answer from our hearts.  To the Lord we may say that “you are everything to us.  You are my life, you are my hope, you are my joy, you are my peace, you are my love.  You are everything to us!”

 

God Bless and Take Care,  

Fr. John


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