My Dear Parishioners of Most Blessed Sacrament Parish ~
Over the past week I have been unpacking boxes and boxes of books and other items I have accumulated over the past (16) years of priesthood – moving sure does take a great deal of patience and perseverance, doesn’t it?! Jesus certainly was onto something when he gave the Apostles the smart advice of “traveling lightly” in today’s Holy
Gospel. We as humans accumulate so many things over the years – most of which we never use, never read, and never see again – that is until it’s time to eventually pack and move again! I always prefer to get organized as soon as possible; living out of boxes and suitcases is not a good option.
I am reminded of something that the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen once observed. He said that there are two basic types of people: Those who prefer order and structure and like to be in control, and those who are more “free spirits” — those who tend to fly by the seat of their pants. All things considered, neither type is better or worse than the other; each type has its strengths and weaknesses. I tend to fall into the first category. I like structure, order, and a sense of control in my life. And a good cup of strong coffee in the morning!
If you would say that you’re the type of person who is more of a free spirit who goes with the flow, then you can sit back and breathe easier this Sunday. However, if you’re the sort of person whoprefers structure and control, listen up – the Gospel this 15th Sunday of Ordinary time is aimed at allof us “control freaks”! Jesus sends forth the Apostles and gives them clear instructions as to what to do, what to take with them, and what to leave behind. For the Apostles, it is a great act of faith; of letting go of control and trusting in Jesus. As Jesus was sending them out, I can only imagine that the organized and controlling ones in the bunch probably started to worry and whisper among themselves saying, “What does he mean take no food, no sack, and no money?!”
And with that, the Apostles are faced with that question that all of us will face many times in our lives (even you free spirits out there): Do I have the courage, trust, and faith, to do what God is asking me to do? As we celebrate this Holy Eucharist, let us allow the grace of this sacrament to transform us so we lose our need for control, and gain the courage and trust to follow the plan God is calling us to embrace and live out to its fullest.
I want to extend my sincere gratitude for all the hard work and devotion that went into our first weekend together here in our beautiful Most Blessed Sacrament Parish! From the diverse and spectacular music, to the wonderful Altar Servers, Ushers, Lectors, Mass Coordinators, Extraordinary Ministers, Deacons, those who prepared the incredible spread of snacks and refreshments after all Masses, and all those parishioners who warmly welcomed me and have already started inviting me into your homes – know that I am truly grateful. God also blessed us with great weather–-we didn’t
even have to turn on the air-conditioning in the Church, right? ?It’s a joy and blessing to serve you as your Pastor –