Pastor’s Weekly Message 8-16-20

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

In the first reading from the Book of Isaiah we hear a beautiful description of what God envisions God’s church to be. All who join themselves to the Lord are welcome, they will be made joyful in God’s house of prayer, and God’s house will be a house of prayer for all peoples. Sounds pretty perfect, right? Indeed, this is the image of our Church that God has, and that we try to make a reality. Unfortunately, we know that the Church, and sometimes we ourselves, fall short of this ideal.

Last week I talked about fear, and how fear can divide and imperil us. This image of the Church from Isaiah is an antidote to that fear. To be the Church that God imagines is profoundly simple but requires us to remove all preconceptions about our brothers and sisters. If they are joining us for worship, they are joining themselves to the Lord, and God is happy that they are here, and so are we. This is how we become “a house of prayer for all peoples.”

Our house of prayer has taken on some different forms in the past months thanks to the COVID–19 pandemic. In March, our own homes became houses of prayer as we joined together online for the streaming Mass. For many, this remains the way in which we worship together, a way we had not imagined less than six months ago! Now we are also able to celebrate the Mass outdoors in our courtyard, and with record attendance at last Sunday’s masses, we demonstrate we are continuing to serve God’s people as a house of prayer such as Isaiah describes. I thank you all for what you do to make this possible.

In his homily last week, Fr. Rodrigo talked about the short simple prayers we can offer when other words fail us. One such prayer is that of the Canaanite woman in the Gospel this weekend, “Lord, help me.” I invite you to join me in making this our prayer for the week; Lord, help us to open our hearts and minds to continue to serve you and your people. Help us to make Carmel Mission a house of prayer for all peoples, and a place where your people come in joy and hope. Amen.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, great hope and true peace,

Fr. Paul

Please take a moment to read our Carmel Mission weekly bulletin.

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