Pastor’s Weekly Message 5-28-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
Today we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, one of the most inspiring stories of our faith. It is inspiring not only because of the remarkable transformation of the apostles, but also because God demonstrates, yet again, that God is willing to bridge any distance between His believers and Himself. At a moment when the disciples are frightened, going so far as to hide in a secret location, God bursts into the space “like a strong driving wind.”(Acts 2:2) Even in hiding, even in despair, the apostles are not beyond the reach of God’s protective, empowering, loving care. They are suddenly free from fear and doubt, and they rush out, on fire to share with the world the source of their new freedom, God’s love.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, said in his Pentecost homily several years ago, “It is important to believe that God is gift, that He acts not be taking away but by giving. Why is this important? Because our way of being believers depends on how we understand God. If we have in mind a God who takes away, who imposes Himself, we too will want to take away and impose ourselves. But if we have in our hearts a God who is a gift, everything changes. By loving humbly, serving freely and joyfully, we will offer to the world the true image of God. The Spirit, the living memory of the Church, reminds us that we are born from a gift, and that we grow by giving; not by holding on but by giving of ourselves.” (May 31, 2020)
As we come to the end of this Easter season, we have born witness again to the unimaginable love and generosity of God, to His relentless optimism and belief in humankind. Our Holy Father reminds us that how we perceive God matters. This Easter season I have been sharing my belief that God’s gift of  HOPE, Holy Optimism Pervading Everything, is a way that we can understand God that helps us to be an antidote to the dis-ease we see and experience in our world. May we take this HOPE out in to the streets as did the first apostles, on fire with the Spirit of truth, compassion, and love.
I wish you and your loved ones Pentecost blessings of good health, divine inspiration, and great HOPE,

Fr. Paul

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