Pastor’s Weekly Message 9-20-20

Dear Friend of Carmel Mission,

Reflecting on the Gospel for this weekend, I am reminded of a line from a hymn we have fairly recently added to our repertoire at Carmel Mission, O How Blessed. “The first shall be last, the last shall be first, for such is the wisdom of God.” Certainly, it is not in line with human ideas of fairness that the first should be last, but we know, and this week Isaiah reminds us, that our ways are not God’s ways and God’s ways are not ours. Whenever I am confronted with the wisdom of God which seems to contradict my own wisdom I return to my favorite passage from Romans, “God always works for good for those who love God.” (Romans 8:28) Knowing that God is always working for our good, we can explore the idea presented by Jesus today, the upending of how we think effort should be rewarded.

Our loving God only wants what is truly best for us, that which will help us grow in His image. God does not mean for our work to be a punishment or an oppression. God also wants to see all provided for, God’s generosity ensures that we all share equally in the promise of salvation. God’s mercy and compassion are not rewards for our labor but rather an expression of God’s infinite love for each and every one of us. So then, why work? Well, in most cases, work and its financial return is a matter of survival, but hopefully it also offers opportunities. Whatever we are called to do in life, our work can offer us the chance to learn and to grow, it will put us in relationship with people outside of our family and friends, and help us contribute to the society and the economy of which we are all a part. Work is service, and all work can be offered as such to God.

It may shock you to know that work in the literal vineyard of the Lord, the Church, can, at times, be as frustrating and confounding as any other profession! In my working life, I have not avoided the struggles that we all face, but I have also been blessed with many opportunities. I encourage you this week to examine your own labors through the lens of a blessing and an opportunity. How do you see God working for good in your work and in your life? Whatever you do in life, I promise, God is there.

We have had the opportunity at Carmel Mission in recent weeks to welcome workers in a very unique profession. Technicians from Casavant Frères in Quebec and their associates from the Bay Area were with us two weeks ago to begin work on the restoration and renovation of our organ. Please see the Heavenly Sounds page in the bulletin for an important update on the campaign and to see some amazing images of the work that has begun. These are exciting developments, and we rely on your continued support to see the project through to its completion.

I wish you and your loved ones continued blessings of good health, clear skies and joy in all your labors,

Fr. Paul

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

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