Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-11-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

It was a great joy to celebrate last week with all you who joined us here at the Mission or online for our Holy Week celebrations. Despite ongoing restrictions and challenges due to COVID, we were able to safely celebrate with record crowds outdoors on Palm and Easter Sundays and conduct the liturgies of the Sacred Triduum with reverence and grace. Great thanks is due to our volunteer ushers who went above and beyond to help welcome all who wished to worship with us during this most holy time. We live-streamed the 9am Mass on Easter Sunday with those of you in our virtual community, a practice we hope to continue. There is a collage of images from our Holy Week celebrations in our e-bulletin, I encourage you to take a look.

This Sunday we focus on God’s great mercy in a special way. Jesus’ prevailing mercy is on great display in the two principal interactions in today’s Gospel reading. When He appears to His disciples in the locked room His first words to them are, “Peace be with you.”  (John 20:19) There was no recrimination for their cowardly abandonment of Him, no chastisement for their failure to grasp the significance of the empty tomb. Jesus leads, as always, with peace. From this peace flows mercy, forgiveness, and ultimately the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. Thomas experiences the same mercy in his first interaction with the Risen Lord. Jesus comes to Thomas without rancor or annoyance, wanting to take away his doubt and heal his troubled heart.

Jesus shows the disciples the marks of His Crucifixion. I am always struck that Jesus continues to bear the scars of the cross on His Body after His triumphant Resurrection. Jesus’ scars connect Him to our own woundedness. The Letter to the Hebrews says “We do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses.” (Hebrews 4:15). Our high priest can also relate to our wounds, our scars that we carry through life. This week I invite you to join me in going to our wounded Healer, showing Him our wounds and our scars, trusting in His mercy  peace to renew and restore us.

I wish you and your loved ones continued Easter blessings of good health, great peace and God’s merciful healing,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission Weekly Bulletin.

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