Pastor’s Weekly Message 3-27-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today’s Gospel story of the Prodigal Son with its theme of  forgiveness  and reconciliation feels so relevant at this moment. Our world, as well as our hearts, are in desperate need of reconciliation, of healing, of peace and forgiveness. Our minds turn immediately to our brother and sisters in Ukraine. Indeed, our Holy Father invited the universal Church to join him in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary this past Friday. Sadly, that conflict is one of many ongoing today. War rages in Syria, Myanmar, Yemen, South Sudan, and that names only a few. The cost of war in both human and economic terms is incalculable, and yet it persists as people remain entrenched in ideology that does not allow for true reconciliation.
Why is reconciliation so difficult? One answer may be found in the Latin root of the word itself. It contains the Latin word for eyelash, “cilia.” Reconciliation means literally to “again be eyelash to eyelash (with someone).” Reconciliation is an intimate process. Problems cannot be ignored or glossed over, they must be addressed and resolved. Hearts and minds on both sides must be open to listening, to compromise, even to sacrifice.
When we consider global war or even painful personal conflicts, beginning down the path to reconciliation can feel daunting at best, or maybe even impossible. How can we begin?  Before we can become agents of peace in our lives and in the world, we must come to peace with God in our hearts. Fortunately, this process is not nearly as intimidating, because our partner in this reconciliation has already shown Himself willing to make the greatest sacrifice out of love for us. To come back “eyelash to eyelash” with God requires only that we are honest with ourselves, and open our hearts to His mercy and love. We will have an opportunity to do just this at our Reconciliation Service next Friday, April 1. I hope you will join us.
I wish you and your loved ones Lenten blessings of good health and great peace. Please continue to pray to Mary, Queen of Peace,

Fr. Paul

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