I have a dream that our parish will be an oasis of light and love for each of you. While praying over this Sunday’s Gospel I was reminded that the founder of the Community of St. John, would tell us at the beginning of every retreat to pay close attention to the gospel read at the opening Mass for often the Holy Spirit will set the tone of the entire retreat of that Gospel.
Well, this is the first Sunday Gospel that I will preach as the Pastor of this Parish. So, in prayer, I asked the Holy Spirit what He is teaching us. The first note of every song is the most important note, for it sets the tone for what it going to come.
After praying, three aspects of today’s Gospel spoke to me.
First, Healing & Service: Jesus heals Simon Peter’s Mother-in-law. He lifts her up by the hand and she immediately serves them. Perhaps the Lord is telling us through this that true life and healing is found in Jesus Christ, and part of the healing process is found in serving God in my brothers and sisters. May our Parish be a source of healing in Christ and through serving one another as if we are a family.
Second, Prayer & Searching for the Truth: Jesus goes out alone early in the morning to pray and his disciples search for him everywhere. By this, Jesus show us the importance of prayer. Prayer has been and must remain the central and most important reason for our Parish. It could be said that it is the reason why this Parish exists. Also, like the disciples, we too should be looking for and finding Jesus. We do this through prayer, reading Sacred Scripture, following classes on Theology, reading books etc. As a parish, we have to search for the Truth.
Third, Evangelisation: Jesus does not stay in the same village. He and His disciples are called to go out to the other villages who have not heard the Good News. In order for our parish to become an oasis of light and love, we have to reach out and go beyond the pale. As a parish, we must seek to evangelise (which means “bring the Good News”). A parish that does not seek to bring the good news to others is not alive, but is dead.
Concluding this brief message, I must thank each of you for having so generously received my brothers throughout the last seven years. Also, thank you for receiving the Lord, and thank you for receiving me.
Fr. Michael Thérèse