Brothers and Sisters,
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. These are St. Paul’s words to the Romans that are given to us this sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time. In my mind these words prove the mystery of God’s words or sacred scripture has a depth and breadth that defies time and space. In other words, these words seem intended for this day and this time.
Today’s world and environment appear so overwhelmingly distorted and disoriented that it is hard to focus on what and who to pray for. Can I really be praying for everyone at all times and for all needs! It seems absurd. But this absurdity is demolished by St. Paul’s words, by this truth about the role of the Holy Spirit. This truth of the Spirit at work when we are most weakened is indeed good news.
Speaking of good news, I am encouraged by a few little actions that we are engaging at St. Mary’s. First, a couple weeks ago we started to do baptisms again. Second, this past weekend we began First Communions. This will continue in small numbers (one to three per Mass) for the remainder of the summer. It is good to have a few signs of normalcy.
Another piece of good news, although more unique, is the Holy Family statue we acquired from the Little Sisters of the Poor. As you know, their mission in the Boston area has ended and a member of our parish was able to coordinate this statue’s new residence here… from the Sister’s chapel to our church. It is a wonderful addition to our worship space and seems like it was made for our church.
Finally, I want to encourage everyone to be mindful of everyone’s weaknesses and needs for mercy and support. Today St. Paul’s words come at the time when all our lives have endured much turmoil and ambiguity. These are cumulative stressors that we need to respect and allow God’s Word to heal. By our embrace of His way, His life, His truth, we can be the vehicles of God’s grace for each other. I want to thank you for your patience and support. I am especially grateful for those who are able and willing to assist here at St. Mary’s. These are difficult and unprecedented times, but I know everyone is intending to contribute to building up the Kingdom of God.
We are all in need of various healing and can rely on the Spirit’s inexpressible groanings as St Paul speaks of today. We need to allow our faith to embrace the healing words and aid of the Holy Spirit…
… the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness.