Pastor’s Weekly Message 5-21-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today’s Gospel is the very conclusion of the evangelist Matthew’s writing. At the beginning of his Gospel, while telling the story of Jesus’ birth, Matthew named Him as “Emmanuel, God with us.” (Matthew 1:28) At the end of his Gospel Jesus repeats this promise to “be with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) When we last saw the Eleven in Matthew’s telling they were forsaking Jesus when He was arrested. (Matthew 26:31-56) The women tell them that Jesus has risen, and has gone before them to Galilee to meet them there. They summon up enough belief, and enough courage,  to make the journey themselves. When they see Jesus they worship Him, but it is mixed with doubt. Jesus has brought them back to Galilee, the place of their first call, their first enthusiasm, their first mission, to encourage a second spring of their discipleship . They receive His final instruction – to go and make disciples of all the nations, to baptize, and to teach all that Jesus has taught them, passing on a new tradition of faith.
This clear and concise instruction is the very foundation of our Church and of our faith. Like the Eleven, we are encouraged and inspired by Jesus’ promise to remain with us always. But also like the Eleven, we worship, but we doubt. We doubt if we are up to the task Jesus puts before us, we doubt if our efforts are making any difference in our difficult world, we may even doubt if we are worthy of such responsibility or such love. In the face of these doubts, God, the Holy Optimist, invites us back to the beginning of our calling, or rather to the many beginnings. To the Sacraments that made us part of His Church, to the moments of connection to God’s love that inspired us to follow His call. Just as the Eleven returned to Galilee for their great commission, we can return to those concrete moments, different for each of us, when we felt certain that we were worthy, capable, and called by name.
Such a moment is happening for nine young people in our community today, as their receive their First Holy Communion. I ask you to join me in praying for them as they take the next important step on their faith journey.
I wish you and your loved ones Easter blessings of good health and Holy Optimism Pervading Everything,
Fr. Paul

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