The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
It is truly amazing how awesome God is to us and how He constantly places reminders in our lives about His “crazy love” (St. Catherine of Siena) for each of us! Recently, I was considering how horrible it is becoming without the sacraments available to most people — particularly the Mass. Then I started to think about this bulletin message this week&helip; “I will come to you&helip;” Jn 14;18. He showed me what I need to see right away.
Well, there it is! Regarding Mass attendance, we usually place it in the context of attending or “going” to Mass. I believe the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is without comparison when it comes to God breaking into our lives or into our reality. Nothing compares to the grace at work in Mass when you are joined to the His Cross and Resurrection and new Life&helip; Our Lord overcoming your death, your suffering and your sin. However, today you cannot go to Mass.
“&helip;I will come to you&helip;”. That’s the good news today in this Gospel of John from the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The Gospel today is a reminder that His Holy Spirit can be with us always if we are open to that. That is exactly what Christ is telling His Disciples and reminding us of today — He will come to us always in the person of His Holy Spirit. God is so good to us! So, despite the continued hardships forced on us because of this pandemic, Christ comes to us where we are. His Holy Spirit is with you&helip; if you acknowledge Him and allow your faith to believe this crazy love God has for us will never be stopped — no pandemic, no restrictions on gathering or spacing, or anything. Again, the good news today from John’s Gospel reminds us; Jesus says, “I will not leave you orphans.”
God is so good to us and always when we need it the most. Speaking of needing things, I can report that the diocese has begun to form a commission to determine possible protocols for returning our parishes back to Mass. I know we will not be reverting back to “normal,” but this is progress toward a slow and calculated return to public Masses.
With that in mind, I need to begin forming a committee here at St Mary’s. We need a group to begin working details of how our parish will meet the protocols that will surely restrict the numbers of worshipers per Mass and other things like social distancing and sanitizing the space. I am sure we will have much to do in order to meet the protocols.
If you are interested in working with this “Back to Mass” committee, please let me know. Call the office, or send an email. I can only imagine the requirements for having Masses again will be quite extensive and explicit. This will require a lot of work, and I will need the parish to come together on meeting all the requirements. But what a great problem to have at this point! Both Fr. Augustin and I are looking forward to celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass again with actual parishioners!