Pastor’s Weekly Message 5-29-22

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
We hear two accounts of Jesus’ Ascension into Heaven today, one in Luke’s Gospel, and another in the Acts of the Apostles. In both there is a clear direction for the first disciples, they are to stay in Jerusalem, waiting for coming of the Holy Spirit that Jesus has promised. Once they have experienced the power of the Holy Spirit they are to go out into the world, bearing witness to  the Good News of salvation. The disciples are called first to prayer and then to action. While the Gospel tells us that the disciples reacted to Jesus’ Ascension with great joy and returned to the temple to praise God, we can also imagine there was a measure of sadness that their Friend and Teacher was no longer among them on earth. Endings can be hard, but they are often the necessary precursors of growth and new beginnings.
On a much sadder note, our nation, our world is reeling. War continues to rage in Ukraine. In addition to the unspeakable atrocities being inflicted on the Ukrainian people, the disruption to the global food supply has left some nations facing the imminent threat of deadly famine. In his homily last weekend Deacon Warren spoke eloquently about the ongoing scourges of hatred and violence that grip our nation., Only last week, ten people in Buffalo, NY lost their lives to the devastating and divisive realities of racial hatred and gun violence.
It is truly unimaginable and unconscionable that only a few days later, in Texas on Tuesday, 22 people, including 19 innocent children, lost their lives in what is, sadly, only the most recent school shooting in our country. It is overwhelming and numbing to contemplate how we can react as individuals in a meaningful way. I draw inspiration from the first disciples. Faced with a daunting assignment they prayed for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to help them take action. We would do well to follow their example. We turn to God in prayer, not only for comfort and strength, but also for guidance on how we can effect peace and healing in our own spheres of influence. Like the first disciples, first we must pray, then we can, and must, act.
I wish you and your loved ones continued Easter blessings of good health and great hope. Please continue to pray for our wounded world,

Fr. Paul

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