Pastor’s Weekly Message 5-7-23

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,
The beginning of this weekend’s Gospel is a popular choice for a funeral Mass, with its beautiful imagery of Jesus preparing a place for each of us in His Father’s house. The disciples still have questions, and honestly, who wouldn’t?!. They don’t know where Jesus is going, so how they can possibly find and follow Him, or even more daunting, help others to find the way? Philip has a more metaphysical question. He just wants to see the Father, a final assurance that Jesus is doing what He claims –  not leaving them bereft, but returning to the Father to continue His relationship, and His work, with them in a different way.
Jesus makes it clear that He is the answer to all of their,  and our, questions. He is the way – the path we follow in life and beyond. He is the truth – the reality we know on earth and will find in heaven. He is the life – giving us life abundantly now, and promising eternal life with the Father forever. In Genesis, we learn that humanity reflects the image of God (Gen 1:26) so in one sense, Jesus’ answer to Philip is a traditional Jewish answer: Jesus shows His disciples the face of God in His own humanity. But in another, greater sense, it is radically different because, in His words and in His works, Jesus is the unique revelation of God because He is one with God.  
I often say in my funeral homily that when I was younger I was preparing my list of questions for God when it is my turn, God willing, to enter the heavenly kingdom. As I, and my spirituality, matured, I recognized that there is no need. When we are finally with God, there will be no questions, for we will know what God knows, and experience an intimacy of relationship we can only glimpse briefly in this life. Until then, we try to relate to God in the ways we can with our limited human understanding, confident that the God who knew us before we were in our mother’s womb and who has counted the hairs on our head, is keeping our room ready, filled with all our favorite things, and has left the porch light on for us.
I wish you and your loved ones continued 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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