Pastor’s Weekly Message 4-3-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Like last week’s story of the Prodigal Son, this week’s Gospel involving Jesus, the Pharisees and the woman accused of adultery is one in which we can relate to several characters in different moments in our lives. We have likely experienced moments of persecution, misunderstanding, and scorn. We have also likely found ourselves in the position of the Pharisees, quick to judge, not so quick to practice mercy, to try and understand what is at the root of another’s behavior and offer help and healing. This is what Jesus does for the woman, turning aside her tormenters with a timely reminder of their failings, and then offering her not condemnation, but an opportunity to heal.
In his novel, The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck wrote, “They assured themselves that they were good and the intruders bad, as a man must do before he fights.” This line struck me as something very true and to some degree obvious, which I had not really considered so succinctly. So many of the difficult situations we encounter stem from creating a sense of otherness. In the first reading, the Prophet Isaiah talks about God’s promise that Jesus brings to fulfillment, “Remember not the events of the past, the things long ago consider not: see I am doing something new!” (Isaiah 43:19) Rather than focusing on what separates us from others and increasing the chasm of difference Jesus points to forgiveness and reconciliation.
This line from Isaiah, “See I am doing something new!” Is one of my favorites from the Hebrew Scriptures. It captures the essence of our active, creative God. God is not sitting back and waiting to see how things play out, resting on His laurels. God is actively at work in the world. I invite you to join me this week in considering what God is making new in your life, and how we can better partner with our loving God in His continuous work of creation.
I wish you and your loved ones Lenten blessings of good health and new hope. Please continue to pray for peace and healing in our world,

Fr. Paul

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