Pastor’s Weekly Message 1-31-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Today in the Gospel we find Jesus teaching in the temple with an authentic authority which astonishes those listening and learning. Even the unclean spirit recognizes Jesus for who He is, “the Holy One of God.” Those present can sense that this is a new kind of authority, based not on mere scholarship, but on identity. This made me think on the great gift that recognition can be in our lives. It can be the spark of joy when we recognize a loved one we did not expect to see, and the profound peace we feel when we recognize and acknowledge who we truly are.

It is not always easy to recognize what is real and authentic. We live in a culture that bombards us with images and ideas of who we should be, and how we should appear, to be recognized as worthy. In truth, we are exactly as we should be, exactly as our loving Creator made us, and as such, of infinite worth. Genuine recognition is so powerful because it reinforces just that; we are seen, we are enough, we are worthy. I feel that so many of the world’s problems could be solved if only we would see each other as God sees us. So much of our personal pain could be eased if we could look in the mirror with God’s eyes of love.

The psalmist asks us, “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” It may be difficult to keep our hearts open and soft, ready to hear God. Life’s slings and arrows harden our hearts and close our ears in an attempt at self-preservation. I invite you this week to join me in working to soften our hearts and open our ears to God’s voice and in recognizing ourselves and  each other as uniquely beautiful children of God.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, new hope, and profound peace,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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