At every Mass… even our “Back to Mass” under the pandemic restrictions, we profess the Mystery of Faith. This is how we prepare ourselves for communion with our Lord, our God. Entering into His life and receiving His flesh and blood, the fullness of life, we respond with the words: “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” Here we are immersed in Grace, here we embrace the Cross and the Resurrection. There can be no other way to receive His body and blood. We must have already been brought into his death and resurrection. How can this be?
Brothers and sisters — are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? These are the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans this thirteenth weekend of Ordinary Time. We hear these amazing words. But simultaneously very contrary to our cultural/societal perspective of life. Our world is busy devising more distractions or illusions from the fact of death. In fact, if you think about this fear of death constantly professed by our world, it is responsible for most of the destructive or false ways of our world. This is because many have forgotten or not heard Paul’s words reminding us of the truth of Christ our Lord.
Being baptized into His life, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we are in a sense inoculated from death. It no longer truly has power of our lives. In Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection, we have been immersed in death and then brought up and out of its grip. We should not fear something that has no real control over our lives. In a way, we have already received the vaccine from the virus known as death!
It seems like a strange coincidence that we are hear God’s words now that remind us of being saved from the great virus of all…death. With that in mind, we are continuing to offer our Sunday Masses to those able to join us. It is still strange to celebrate Mass with all the restrictions. However, with enough volunteers to help, we can continue to provide these Masses at St. Mary’s. I also encourage any folks who are in the high-risk categories to please refrain from attending Mass. We are all trying hard to protect everyone from any spread of the virus. Ultimately, we all must sacrifice in various way in order to protect one another.
For those who are coming to Mass, please consider helping the clean up between Masses. If we do not have enough help it will be difficult to keep all the Masses going at this time. Folks can either call the office to volunteer or simply volunteer after the Mass you attend.
The other major concern for me is the offertory. This continues to be a struggle given the restrictions of gathering our parish. All I can do is remind everyone that our financial requirements continue despite cuts in various staff, maintenance and programs. On the other hand, I am grateful for the generosity of so many St. Mary’s parishioners. For those who are finding ways to contribute, I cannot thank you enough. It is an inspiration to see so much true
“Giving” going on. However, I am also compelled to continue reminding everyone that we need all contributing to meet the needs of St. Mary’s. We are blessed with wonderful facilities and we are equally challenged to maintain these facilities. Please consider the online offertory option of giving your regular financial contribution.
Fr. Augustin and I continue to keep the entire parish in our prayers and intentions. Be assured that we are praying for your specific needs. God’s grace is abundant and overflowing into our lives at all times. Our daily Adoration of our Lord continues to be a powerful source of strength for our parish. I encourage all who are able to take a few minutes at some point during your week to spend a few minutes with our Lord, Jesus Christ at Adoration, 3–5 p.m. daily.