Even though Covid continues to deﬁne everything in our world, the seasons are changing and September is here. As we wind down summer, there is a rush to make sure that everything that was supposed to get done over these short few months actually got done. Did the kids ﬁnish their summer assignments? Did I paint that room I was going to? Did we visit that lake that we drove by last year? Did I ﬁnish that book I was going to read? Did I even start it? The amount that we try to cram into summer can be exhausting to just think about. But, next year, we will do the same thing again: we will plan as much as we can and try to squeeze it all in!
For me, September actually brings some relief. The kids get back into their normalcy – for now it is remote learning, hybrid learning, or back in school with masks on. More people are also ﬁguring out what their new work routines are. Sure, this means more cars and buses on the roads, but with the busyness, it forces you to also slow down a little bit (because the traﬃc will not allow you to go any faster)! For me it feels good to just come home.
Coming home gives me a sense of relief that I rarely get from anything else that I do. When I walk through the doors at home, there is a sigh – a breath of fresh air. There could be other things going on at home that make it seem stressful, but I am still home. I relax, take that breath – if only for a minute – and then dive into what needs to get done. Those minutes are precious.
Another one of those moments for me is when I walk through the doors of our beautiful Church. “I’m home” is what I say to myself. I believe this feeling is also the same for many other parishioners. One can feel the warmth of the building, the love of other parishioners – and of course God’s love.
Just like our familial homes, there is also that other “stuﬀ” that needs to get done at the Church. Paying the bills, taking care of the property, and ﬁxing what needs to get ﬁxed. The people of our Parish come together in remarkable ways when things need to get done. The huge eﬀort to refurbish and paint Saint Mary’s is succeeding only because of the support of all of us. Our religious education program will be starting soon, and many volunteers will come together and teach the children of Our Parish.
Because of COVID, understandably, some in our community have not felt safe returning to Sunday Mass. Fortunately, this weekend all four Masses will be celebrated for the ﬁrst time since March. Please also know that the Church is cleaned and sanitized before each Mass and seating is designated to respect social distancing. So, when the times is right for you and your family to walk through the doors of Saint Mary’s, I am sure you, also, will feel you truly are HOME in God’s house – and God is welcoming you with open arms.
Twenty-Fourth Sunday Ordinary Time Weekend of September 12/13, 2020
Today’s Gospel reading continues Jesus’ instructions on being good stewards of others – the direction that if we love Jesus Christ, we must forgive an individual 77 times. The reading compels us to consider one of the most diﬃcult practices of Christian discipleship.
Forgiveness is the way of Jesus, the way of the cross.
Vengeance, bitterness and hatred seem so much easier and certainly more desirable.
Forgiveness is a hard road to travel, but it is the only road that leads to life in Christ.
Consider this week who you need to forgive.