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sadness

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled

Dear Parishioners,

Jesus said, "Where I am going you know the way." Thomas then answered, "Master, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?" In the context of the moment, Jesus was trying to encourage his disciples not let their hearts be troubled. And why? Because, Jesus knew that his disciples were afraid and unsure of the future. Jesus told them that, despite his leaving, he would prepare a place for them and then return. He assured them that, more than anything else, they needed to know that Jesus is the "way and the truth and the life," and thus they went out with courage and faith. In this event, Jesus is speaking to us as well.

In each of our lives, there are changes, uncertainties, and other things that cause us fear and worry. In view of our new church building project, the reality that our current church will be demolished could cause anxiety and sadness for some. For others, there is anticipation and excitement. One thing is certain, we must be sensitive to each other during this process. We all hold memories of sacraments and other events that were commemorated in our church.

Going forward, be assured that people of good faith are striving to be good stewards in the process. Things are bound to change and mistakes will be made. We will be bumping into each other more and sitting closer to each other. In our transition period, which is slated to begin on June 24/25th, we should not be like the Israelites who grumbled and, thus, wandered in the desert. Rather, we are the disciples of Jesus who are called to a particular mission (this new church) with courage and faith.

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger Pastor 

Tragedy, Grief, And The Lord

Dear Parishioners,

The past several weeks we have experienced more than our share of tragedies and funerals in our faith communities.  It is in these times that sorrow befalls upon us and tempts us to despair and hopelessness. But, do not give in to this darkness.  Let the light of Christ pierce the darkness with a light of hope that only God can give!   Know with the fullness of your being that God is at work, and his divine power and genius is more than capable of turning darkness and tragedy into light and triumph!

I am reminded of one of my favorite Scripture verses which is constantly opened to in my office.  The verses come from the Book of Lamentations and are the words of a faithful, yet suffering individual.  The whole book is one big lament, yet almost exactly in the middle of the short book, a piercing ray of hope is uttered about the truth of God:

"My life is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; My enduring hope, I said, has perished before the Lord...
But this I will call to mind; therefore I will hope:
The Lord ’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; They are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness!
"The Lord is my portion, I tell myself, therefore I will hope in him.
The Lord is good to those who trust in him, to the one that seeks him;
It is good to hope in silence for the Lord ’s deliverance.
(Lam 3:17, 21-26)

Yes!  The mercies of the Lord are not exhausted by the grief and sadness that befalls us.  The word "mercy" translated in the New American Bible comes from the Hebrew word, Hesed which signifies an unchanging, constant devotion, a loving kindness that forgives with a divine mercy.  Even when one our youngest members tragically dies in an accident, as happened this past week, God is active, alive, and ready to catch us when we fall.  

It is for these things and more that our Lord suffered so much.  It is for these things that Jesus desired to die so that we would not have to die eternally.  Our God is mighty to save and full of compassion.  So, do not be afraid when tragedy strikes, when loss is so great that you do not know what to do.  Simply lean on our Lord.  Shout out to him who listens with perfect understanding. Share the entirety of your grief.  Even your anger... let him know of it.  Just remember, he loves you.  He suffers with you.  You don't need to be anything other than yourself when you approach him.  You don't have to have the "right " words.  Just give him your broken heart.  And by his amazing grace, he will triumph over the darkness so that you can rejoice with him.  

So, let God sit with you in your grief.  Let him turn your sadness into joy.  Listen to the Lord while he speaks his words of love to you. Yes, he loves you even when you are lost.  Let him be your way, truth, and life.  May all glory and praise be to our God who is our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!

Blessings,

Fr. William Holtzinger
Pastor