Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-16-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
In my Easter homily I quoted some lyrics from the song Anthem by Leonard Cohen, “Ring the bells that still can ring/ Forget your perfect offering/ There is a crack, a crack in everything/ That’s how the light gets in.” I think these powerful words have relevance to today’s Gospel reading as well. There are plenty of cracks in the faith, and in the lives of those hiding from, and fearing, the unknown future behind locked doors.. But, unbeknownst to them, even in the darkness of their doubt, disillusionment, self-reproach, and terror, the bright light that is the risen Christ can shine through.
When Jesus appears to the disciples in the locked room the first thing he does is offer them His peace. Jesus’ peace is more than an absence of war and violence; it is a wholeness and holiness of mind, body and spirit. It is the very opposite of chaos, and the disciples in that moment are a certainly a community in chaos, albeit of a quiet sort so as not to draw any unwanted attention. To begin to heal them, to bring them out of their chaos and their pain, He shows them His wounded hands and side, the glorified reality of His identity. Then, immediately, knowing that this will bring them both joy in His resurrection, and further shame in their own betrayal, He offers His peace again. He then empowers them with the Holy Spirit to do His work. Broken vessels they may be, but His light is shining through those cracks now.
So it is still today. Jesus does not have perfect, unbroken people to do His will and His work. He has us, His imperfect, fractured disciples and His imperfect, cracked Church. But that is all He needs. His light shines through our cracks to bring peace, healing and hope to the world. In this Easter season, I invite you to join me in considering how we can allow Jesus to work with our own brokenness to help make others, and our world, more whole.
I wish you and your loved ones continued Easter blessings of good health, true peace, and holy optimism,

Fr. Paul

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

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