Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-30-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Last week we left Jesus in the synagogue in His native Nazareth, having just revealed to His friends and neighbors that He is the Messiah, the Son of God and the fulfillment of the Scriptures. By any measure, this is a bombshell. At first the reception of Jesus’ announcement seems positive. But the mood quickly turns sour when they have a moment to contemplate what this means. Surely someone they know cannot be the Messiah? The son of Joseph the carpenter? Certainly not. They yearn more than anything for the coming of Messiah, for the fulfillment of the Scripture in their time. But in the moment when He is standing before them, provincialism takes over. Jesus is not surprised by their reaction, and reminds them of other prophets who were not welcome or believed in their native place.  
Do you like surprises? I have to be honest and say that I largely do not. I prefer to aware of what is going to happen, and plan things out, even fun things like celebrations. But the times I have been truly surprised by something joyful or thoughtful, or have participated in successfully surprising someone else, were truly wonderful. Our God is full of surprises. God could have been born in any manner and He chose to be born in a stable. God could have chosen to demonstrate the power of His Love in any number of ways. He chose the suffering and humiliation of death on a cross. God could have turned His back on humanity time and time again, and instead chases after us, offering us His unconditional love and mercy.
Do you ever wonder what the face of Christ looks like? The people in the Nazorean synagogue looked upon it, but they were not ready to allow God to surprise them. This week, I invite you to join me in being open to the surprises of our loving God, and perhaps we will see the face of Christ in someone we never expected.
I wish you and your loved one’s 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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