Mar 14, 2018

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

Once again we have two options for our readings today. Any parish that has people in their RCIA process read the A-cycle readings, and so, we have not heard the B or C cycle reading for quite a while. In the B-cycle Gospel Jesus is contemplating The Cross that awaits Him, the Will of His Father, to offer Himself as the final and perfect sacrifice. Dying that we might have life, and have it in abundance.   

Jesus says, “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven, ‘I have glorified it and will glorify it again.’” We are often tempted to turn back when the going gets tough, but it is often the very thing we need to do most. Sometimes the hardest things in life are the most rewarding, the most significant. Jesus realizes that this is the very reason His Father gave Him to the World. Everything else in His life had been leading to this very moment. If He turned from Calvary and what lay beyond, then everything will have been for naught. This is His moment!

There have been times when I was out hiking and came upon a rather steep and/or difficult part of the trail. The path was turning rocky and the air getting thinner, and I was tempted to turn around, to give up on taking the photo I had envisioned. But then I looked back and saw how far I had come, how high I had already come. To turn around would mean that all of that effort and time would be wasted. It would all be for nothing. But if I pressed on, endured the pain in my legs and the shortness of breath, the reward was always worth it. Whether it be simply a magnificent view or an opportunity to capture a beautiful part of God’s Creation. A chance to record that moment in time (because I probably wasn’t going to climb that trail again! LOL)

We all come to moments in our lives when we are tempted to turn around, to give up the fight, to convince ourselves that it’s not worth it. But often God has brought us that far for a reason. Perhaps it is to build faith & strength within ourselves. Perhaps it is about challenging how much we trust in The Lord. Or, perhaps it is about bearing witness to someone else. While it is true that not all battles are worth fighting, sometimes we must endure the trial even if the odds are against us, even if we are convinced we will fail. Jesus accepted The Cross even though it meant death. He trusted that His Father would turn that defeat into victory!

So let us trust in our Lord, even when the path leads up hill, even when the journey gets rocky and are adversaries grow in numbers. We live in the hope that God is on our side,that The Spirit strengthens us, especially in times of trial, and if we remain in The Light, and stay faithful to our God, then we too shall claim the victory and be numbered with the Just.

In the Redeemer,

Fr. Rick

P.S. Please keep Eulalia ‘Dee Dee’ Jackson and the rest of Kenita Bush’s family in your prayers. This was such a sad and senseless loss. Sometimes it can be hard to share our struggles. Sometimes we are embarrassed, sometimes we don’t want to burden people, but this is why we are a community. If we cannot help each their in our hour of need then we are not a very good one. And please never think I am too busy, especially now that we are blessed to have Fr. Steve. I know that it can sometimes take me a couple days, but if it is ever an emergency or a matter of some urgency then just say so in the message or explain it to Roberta. She almost always can get a hold of me. We are also working on a new communication system that will greatly improve your access to the staff. We are here to serve. God bless