Fr. Edmunds Pastoral Notes…
Taking Christ’s yoke…
Some time ago, I joined several ministers and priests in a pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey dubbed as In the Footsteps of St. Paul. When we arrived in Athens, our tour guide gave each one of us a komboli, known outside of Greece as worry beads. In that part of the world, the souvenir string of beads is said to be resorted to in times of worry, boredom and tension. In our Christian tradition, we have our own version of the Holy Rosary which is used not only as an aid for prayer but as an emblem of our faith. In a way, we tend to resort more to prayer in times of trials and tribulations. We tend to cry out for God’s intervention when we find ourselves carrying seemingly unbearable burdens. Our faith dictates that we are open to God in prayer in good times and in bad.
In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus proposes an alternative way of dealing with life when it seems overburdened by trouble and anxiety. Let me quote straight from the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Jesus proposes to us an approach to life’s challenges based on the spirit of humility and reliance on God’s strength and power. The approach is founded on a life that is open to God, with whom we can let go off our burdens. It is anchored on a spirituality that sees crosses as glorious crosses. It is inspired by a life that that has used the cross as a symbol victory. It is a lifestyle that sees problems as opportunities for growth and maturity, believing that God always makes use of crises and difficulties in our lives as ways of making us seek His kingdom more closely and more personally.
It is a different approach to what our world offers with its sense of control, domination and violence. It is the way of love instead of domination, of letting go instead of controlling, of peace and nonviolence instead of violence. By his becoming human, he humbles himself to encounter us as one of us, sharing our burdens and welcoming all who come to him. Jesus offers his own kind of yoke that lightens our life’s burdens and shows us the way to eternal life. A yoke is a tool that enables the one who uses it to manage a burden that would be impossible without it.
Fr Edmund’s Parish Update.
For now, the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed at the main church on Thursday & Friday, 10am to 6pm for private silent adoration and prayer. Please share this information to as many people as possible to come to adore the Lord in the Eucharist in the main nave of our church . We have to start from this and move towards the re-establishment of the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration program in the parish. There is a definite need to start a new catechetical campaign on the Eucharist and adoration for the would-be 168 committed adorers. The community aspect, for one, has to be emphasized. We have to come up with a program of community building and education, including periodic meeting/reflection to sustain zeal and enthusiasm. Aside from the volunteer component, we have to re-visit the current Adoration Chapel itself, including its safety, security and its wheel-chair accessibility. Re-location can be a real option. In a way, the pandemic gives us an opportunity to transform this devotion as a powerful component of parish ministry. It needs a lot of preparation and ongoing work to make it really work. The adhoc committee is still open for those interested.
We are looking at affiliating our Parish Pantry with the Society of St Vincent de Paul network in our diocese. The move is to afford our outreach program a form of spirituality (how it is connected to our church community and our personal faith). There is an officially assigned diocesan spiritual director who provides spiritual guidance to its officers and members. The move also gives us access to existent organizational structures that can guide us in running this important parish apostolate. The move also gives an opportunity to re-visit our volunteer screening protocols mandated by the “Strengthening Communities” program of the diocese. On a later date, we will call a meeting of all current volunteers of our Parish Pantry and other parishioners who are interested in this pro-poor program.
In response to a diocesan communication, our parish is participating in a new Refugee Program for a family of four (4) from the Turkey area. Mary Ann Donaleshen is coordinating with Mirna Farahat who works with Antoinette at CCIS. The program will eventually require volunteers as well as financial contributions. Those who are interested to volunteer or to contribute can contact Fr Edmund directly. We will post more details as soon as they become available. For now, please pray for this particular refugee family and other families for their freedom.
Please continue to support our parish with its financial challenges at this time of the pandemic. As matter of urgency, we need volunteers to come forward for many of our ministries. If you are interested at all, please contact Fr Edmund directly.
We pray for health, healing and holiness.
Please contact Fr. Edmund by phone (403 252-1137) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or text (403 8742015) for any need or concern.