Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-15-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In the Gospel today we encounter a familiar character from the Advent season, John the Baptist. We begin Ordinary Time with his testimony in John’s Gospel. In this account the evangelist does not himself describe the Baptism of the Lord, but rather shares John the Baptists’ retelling of what he saw, heard, and did, and what that means about who Jesus is. John the Baptist was courageous in his witness, devoted to the work God called him to do, and always pointed, in his words and actions, towards Jesus. His final words in John’s Gospel are “He must increase; I must decrease.” (John 3:30) This humility did not prevent him from being an outspoken preacher, and indeed an outsized and eccentric character. Instead he used all of who he was to God’s purpose. He embodied the statement we hear in the psalm today, “ Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.” (Psalm 40)
As we begin a new year, it is an excellent opportunity to consider what God’s will is in our individual lives.It can be scary to consider surrendering to God’s will for us – what if it clashes with what we want, or even more disconcerting, with what we feel we must do? It can feel that a large part of life is keeping ourselves and our loved ones afloat – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. It is not so much what we want to do, but what we have to do, be it working constantly, neglecting our own health to care for our families, or neglecting our spiritual health to make sure we meet society’s benchmarks.
The Sacred Scriptures, the history of salvation, and our personal relationship with our loving God all prove that God only wants what is best for His beloved children, for all of His creation.  As we open ourselves to a new understanding of God’s will in our lives, I invite you to join me in being equally open to the idea that this may challenge some of the ways we feel we must live, and that , if we trust Him, God can help us grow into happier, healthier doers of His will in this New Year.
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, new hope, and great peace,

Fr Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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