Pastor’s Weekly Message 8-22-21

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission, 
In today’s Gospel it is decision time for those who have been traveling with Jesus, witnessing his miracles and listening to His teaching. Jesus has told them that he is the Bread of Life, and everything that goes along with this truth. Their reaction is one of the major understatements in the Scriptures, “This saying is hard; who can accept it?” (John 6:60) What Jesus reveals in the Bread of Life discourse is beyond hard to comprehend. Taken literally it seems impossible, or at the very least shocking and disconcerting.  Jesus knows that many of those following Him will not be able to accept it, and they will leave. He knows too that among those who choose to continue following Him is His ultimate betrayer, Judas. 
Like Peter, we believe that Jesus is the Holy One of God, and that He has the words of eternal life. If our faith began and ended there it would be easy. But we live in a world where our faith, and indeed our Church, are impacted by words and deeds that may seem devoid of that spirit and life to which Jesus refers. We may feel like walking away from a Church that disappoints or even fails us.  Like you, I have experienced disappointments in the Church I serve.  We have probably all asked ourselves the question, “do you also want to leave?” 
My answer has ultimately always been the same as Peter’s, “Master, to whom shall we go?” While all else may fail us, and we may even fail ourselves, Jesus does not disappoint. There is no one else who gives us the words of eternal life, and who nourishes us with the spiritual food that is the Eucharist. This week I invite you to join me in thanking God for the Spirit who gives each of us life, and for Jesus, the Bread of Life, broken for you and for me. 
I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, new hope and great peace, 

Fr. Paul

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