pastor's corner

Sunday, February 5, 2023

     Hello folks,

     Please continue to keep Deacon Chuck and his family in your prayers as they prepare to move to Alabama, and remember that we will have a gathering to show our gra􏰀tude for them at Saint John’s Hall in Townsend following the 9:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, February 19. In some of my homilies, you have heard me mention about how it is starting to fill me with so much hope that an ever-increasing number of you are coming back to the sacrament of confession. Both Father Kwang and I would say that we have probably heard more confessions here than in any of our previous assignments, including many people returning after being away for a long time (but be assured, we do not and cannot discuss even among the two of us any details of who has gone to confession or what anyone has confessed). Yet, the hope that this inspires in me (and for which I am grateful) is unimportant versus the reality that God’s grace is being increasingly accepted and His Will ever more accomplished. Think of the joy of God the Father seeing His Son’s sacrifice on the Cross bearing fruit every time one of us humbly asks for and accepts His forgiveness in the sacrament He created for us to do just that. Yet this is only a beginning, albeit a very, very good one! He reconciles us to Him (and often times has to do it more than the seventy times seven that Jesus told Peter about, when Peter had asked if he had to forgive his brother as many as seven times...hence the importance of frequent confession, and indeed of frequent acts of forgiveness of our neighbor). He calls us to ever deeper union with Him, and His Holy Spirit shows us the steps to make this happen. We are encouraging people to drop into any of our churches, or perhaps to a church on your way to or from work, every day for five minutes. (If it is locked, it is ok to spend the time in your car in the parking lot, but with heart and mind turned to our Lord in the Tabernacle, the gold colored box where the Eucharist resides between Masses). Saint John Bosco (founder of the Salesians, and on whose feast day I am writing this) said the following: Do you want our Lord to give you many graces? Visit him often. Do you want him to give you few graces? Visit him seldom. Visits to the Blessed Sacrament are powerful and indispensable means of overcoming the attacks of the devil. Make frequent visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the devil will be powerless against you. Saint John Bosco knows of what he speaks! There is far more to all this and yet it is mostly very simple. Please do ask the Lord yourselves about all this. Check out how it relates to today’s Gospel. Sin makes us bland and tasteless so to speak, and dulls the light given us in baptism. Guess what starts to restore our flavor and allows the light to shine? As you get these prac􏰀ces down, you might ask: what next? Still at the level of building the base, or strengthening the foundation, is to fulfill the precepts of the Church (more on that in the coming weeks). Then, I am excited to think about what might happen next...but for now let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and especially, let’s not try to get ahead of Jesus (who rebuked Peter for doing that)! Pray, pray, pray. God bless,

Fr. Maher