This weekend we celebrate the Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time! Today’s Gospel passage recounts the story of Jesus who is with his disciples in a boat on the sea. He is asleep on a cushion when “a violent squall” comes up. The storm does not seem to disturb him but the disciples are terrified. They cry out to Jesus, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus then rebukes the wind and the sea with a command: “Quiet! Be still!” At that moment, the disciples are filled with great awe and say to one another, “Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?” They don’t seem to know who Jesus really is. The elements of wind and water have both creative and destructive properties; each can be life-giving and each can be death-dealing. In ages past, the boat or ship was used as a symbol of the Church (tossed on the sea of disbelief, worldliness, and persecution which finally reaches safe harbor). Part of the imagery comes from the ark, saving Noah’s family during the flood (and also Jesus’ protecting Peter’s boat and the story of today’s Gospel about the stormy sea). Especially in times of persecution, the ship was a great symbol for Christians who needed to disguise the cross: in many pictures of ships, its mast forms a cross. In our day, we experience the symbolism of water and wind (or breath) in the sacramental and liturgical life of the Church. Both water and wind are powerful life-giving symbols in this respect. In the waters of Baptism, we were plunged into the Paschal Mystery of Christ: his suffering, death, and resurrection. So, we should not be surprised when we encounter pain, challenge, and suffering in our lives, or when we experience fear in the midst of the storms and “squalls” of life. In the face of this pain, challenge, suffering, and fear, like the disciples in the boat, we, too, cry out to the Lord to help and save us. This week, let us reflect upon the times we were hurting, the times we were in a panic, and the times we were terrified. Did we turn to Christ, and did he calm us, heal our inner pain, and take away our fear? How did Jesus help us live through the storms that came our way? How did our faith grow because of those experiences? How did our understanding of the Paschal Mystery deepen?
Special Welcome to Father Bill Taylor, our “priest for occasional use,” as he calls himself! It is always good to have Father Bill with us. We thank him for covering for Father Jim who began retreat this past Thursday. Father Bill will join us again in two weeks when Father Jim is with the Knights of Columbus.
This Wednesday, June 24, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist with 6:30 PM Mass at the Saint John the Baptist site of Saint John Paul II Parish. Father Jim will be present to celebrate with us that evening. Goodies and refreshments will be provided after Mass. Please join us for the celebration. Because of the evening Mass, there will be no morning Mass this coming Wednesday. [Evening Prayer will be celebrated at 6:30 PM on Tuesday evening at the Saint John the Baptist Church site].
Happy Fathers’ Day to all fathers! This day we also recognize all those who serve in “father roles”: grandfathers, God-fathers, step-fathers, foster fathers, spiritual fathers, and adoptive fathers. May you be blessed in a very special way this day and may your families show you respect, honor, and great appreciation this day and always!
Father Thomas Carroll, a Piarist Father, will celebrate the Masses next weekend. He will be giving our annual mission appeal. There will be a second collection for the missions next weekend immediately following the regular collection. Special envelopes will be placed in the pews for the mission collection, if you wish to use them. Please note the article in today’s bulletin sent to us by Father Thomas Carroll.
To date we have received CSA pledges amounting to: $39,345.00 (61 % of our assessment). Special thanks to all who have made a contribution thus far. We still need to hear from 147 households. Please try to get your pledge in by next Sunday. I am still confident, that if everyone does their fair share, we can meet our assessment. Please note the breakdown of pledges in today’s CSA Update.
Blessings on your week!
Sister Chris Gretka, CSJ