Pastor’s Weekly Message 11-21-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission ,

It is hard to believe that the liturgical year is drawing to a close. I have found, in this time of the pandemic, that the passage of time has two speeds, painfully slow and blink of the eye fast, nothing in between. Today we celebrate our Savior, Jesus Christ as the King of the Universe. In the Gospel, we find our King in a position which should make Him feel and seem powerless, but in fact does the opposite.

Jesus is standing bound before Pilate, at the beginning of the ordeal that is His Passion and Death, accused of seeking an earthly kingship. Pilate can only comprehend power in the terms in which he experiences it, political power, power over others. Jesus’s explanation, that His Kingdom is not of this world, falls on deaf ears in that moment, but to us, it is the very truth Jesus was born to manifest.

Last week in our parish retreat, Mission at the Mission, Fr. Max quoted from the poem, The Hound of Heaven, by Francis Thompson. I was inspired to read the entire poem again and have another quote to share with you.

‘Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, came on the following Feet and a Voice above their beat – “Naught shelters thee, who wilt not shelter Me.”

In the poem, the Hound (God) is in determined pursuit of a person (us) who is running away and trying to hide inspired by a fear of unworthiness, a fear of failure, a fear of the unknown. God is always pursuing us, but not for Himself. God does not need us, God wants us.

God is not a king seeking subjects or servants. Our King is Himself a servant, pursuing us with love in the desire to share His Kingdom and His Kingship. We are not worthy, but we are none the less the object of God’s limitless love and relentless devotion. When we consider how we appear in the eyes of God, it is impossible to do anything less than Jesus commands, to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31)

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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