The Branch - July 22, 2018

Aug 15, 2018

Hello! I have not had the opportunity to write in The Branch in several weeks; I was told by some faith family members here at the parish that my voice was missed and that I need to write something for this edition of the bulletin. I am both humbled and honored that someone, anyone, would want to hear my thoughts. Thank you!

Last week, Jesus sent the Apostles out two by two and instructed them to take nothing for the journey. This week, the Apostles are back and reporting to Jesus what they had accomplished during their travels. After their return, Jesus and the Apostles go away to a deserted place and rest for a while only to find that people learned of their destination and got their ahead of them.

Over two thousand years later, history repeats itself. How many times have you tried to take a few minutes to yourself (“me time”) only to find that a friend calls, a child cries, the phone rings, or you simply have too much to do. I must confess that recently I have been going through a very tough time. I found myself not being the cheerful, enthusiastic person that I typically am. I was tired, worn out, stressed, and all I wanted was to withdraw into myself and put up walls to keep everyone out… even if just for a little while. I wanted to believe that I did not need anyone’s help and that I was better off alone.

Like Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, those people around me who love me were moved to intervene. Whether they realize it or not, they saw me as a sheep without a shepherd, and reached out to me and prevented me from drawing away form my family, friends, and work. How can anyone say that they don’t see the Spirit at work around us every day?! God does not abandon us. God does not isolate us. When we are having a rough time, He is there for us both in spirit and in the loving, caring heart of our friends and family. Sometimes, He is even there for us in the presence of a complete stranger. Blessed be God forever!

The very people who were there for me were also an inspiration to create a new welcome video that plays before Mass on the screen. Using the background of the aerial video of the parish grounds, the Mission Statement of our parish plays. I hope it serves as a reminder that we come together not just for the sacrifice of the Mass and not just to glorify God. We also come together for each other.

We bring each other into a deeper relationship with God and one another through worship, praise, and the sacraments. Without each other, this parish would not be here. Thank God that we have each other and can help raise each other up ensuring that we are not leaving any of our faith family behind or struggling alone. Together, we can accomplish great things!

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