Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-22-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In his 2019 apostolic letter Aperuit Illis (AI; motu prorprio), Pope Francis established that this Sunday, the Third Sunday in Ordinary time, would be devoted to the celebration, study, and dissemination of the word of God. This year the Sunday also falls within the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Francis explains that word of God has “ecumenical value” and that the Scriptures point listeners and believers “to authentic and firm unity” (AI 3.) It is easy to focus on what divides us, but we are encouraged to look instead to what can unite us and commonly inspire us.
In the Gospel today we see Jesus traveling to the locations mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures, so that the words of the prophet Isaiah might come true. Jesus is the light that rises to enlighten those sitting in darkness.  By mirroring the actions that Isaiah says the Messiah will take, Jesus keeps alive the connection to  God’s word spoken, and heard,  through the ages. In this week’s  Gospel He also calls His first disciples, the first people to hear and bear witness to His word, and carry it out into the wider world. We are following in the footsteps of those first disciples when we approach God’s word without reservation, and embrace and share its radical message of love.
In his letter, Pope Francis refers to the “unbreakable bond between Sacred Scripture and the Eucharist.,” in which both the word of God and the body of Christ are equally vital in allowing us to see ourselves as “part of one another” (AI 8.) He insists that God’s word “has the power to open our eyes and to enable us to renounce a stifling and barren individualism and instead embark on a new path of sharing and solidarity” (AI 13).  I invite you to join me this week in studying the word of God with open eyes, and participating in the Eucharist with open hearts, so that we might experience the compassionate welcome of our God, and so be inspired to share that welcome with our neighbors.
I wish you and 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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