THANKS: How can I thank you sufficiently for a wonderful Golden Jubilee celebration of my priesthood last weekend? It was a memorable occasion which I will treasure for many a year. Your kind words, cards and gifts are very much appreciated. So often, such gracious words are spoken when a person passes on and not while they are alive and able to hear them. This is why I am especially grateful and feel very humbled. As St. Paul would say: “I’ve done no more than my duty!” So, I look forward to a new chapter in the same ministry of priesthood as long as my health holds out and you don’t start complaining that I’ve ‘lost it’!
As you know we were hoping to have some sort of Parish Party the last weekend in June, but now all has to be put on hold. It’s probably best we leave it for the time being and then when it’s really safe, we’ll go ahead.
SCRIPTURE: The book of Job has 42 chapters. It tells of suffering, fear, shattered hopes etc. It also reminds us that it is God who created all things and still holds them together even when we think God has forgotten us.
This same message is in the Gospel. Keep in mind that Jesus is in the boat with the disciples. He doesn’t show any fear. He’s asleep! The disciples are afraid, anxious and possibly angry with Jesus. It was he who led them into this danger when he said: “Let us cross to the other side”. They were then in fact leaving Jewish territory and heading for pagan, maybe hostile territory. “Master, do you not care? We are going down!” Many people are fearful of the future of God’s church as a result of the pandemic. “Will things ever be the same again?” people ask. We don’t know the full answer, but what we do know is that God cares about us. Jesus did say, “I will be with you (in the boat) always, even to the end of time.” When Jesus rebuked the wind and the sea, he said: “Quiet now! Be calm!” “Why are you so frightened?” “How is it that you have no faith?” All these words, questions and replies, need careful attention. Whatever storms, disappointments, doubts, fears that comes into our lives, let us remember Jesus is there with us in the ‘boat’ of life. The difficulties are not going to disappear, but we can cope as long as we do our best and trust in God.
Thanks again everyone.
God bless, Fr Joe