Pastor’s Weekly Message 8-30-20

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Our hearts and our prayers remain with all those affected by the wildfires in our area. We are grateful that, thanks to the hard work of our brave firefighters, inroads have been made in containing the fires and some evacuated people have been able to return to their homes. We know that some of our brothers and sisters are still waiting for that moment and may face the loss of their homes or businesses. In our parish and in our Diocese, we grieve with those who have lost so much, and we vow to help, as best we can, all those in need.

The situation with the fires would be devastating and challenging at any time, but in this time of pandemic, our fears are amplified and our difficulties increased. We ask, “Why O God? How long will these struggles go on?” We may feel sometimes like the prophet Jeremiah does in the first reading, tired and ready to give up. But like Jeremiah, something stirs in our soul and we cannot help but to seek God, to proclaim God, to praise God, in the face of anything and everything. This is our faith. It is not a promise that life will be easy, or that we will not have to face fear or even devastation. It is a promise that we will never have to face anything alone. We never grieve alone, we never rejoice alone, our loving God is with us at every turn.

I find great comfort this week in our psalm, “my soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.” As a devout Jew, Jesus would have known the psalms intimately. They would have accompanied His daily life, the ups and downs that we all experience. We know that some of His last words on the cross were a psalm of lament. We can only imagine that the psalms also accompanied joyful moments, moments of thanksgiving, moments of reflection. In the psalm today the psalmist is experiencing the ferocious, overwhelming love that is our God, just as Jeremiah does. He needs God like the parched earth needs water. His soul is satisfied as if at a banquet and he clings to God, shouts for joy in the shadow of God’s love. I invite you this week to seek the shelter of God’s love; it is there waiting for you, ready to comfort you, to lift you up, to give you a safe place to rest until you are once again ready to join in the shout of joy and praise.

Wishing you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, safety and the all-encompassing shelter of God’s love,

Fr. Paul

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

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