Fr. Kevin’s Column 3/14/2021

Dear friends of God,

This weekend we again hear from John’s Gospel. The Evangelist John often wrote of eternal life while the synoptic (one lens) Gospels spoke of the Kingdom of God (Mark and Luke), the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew) or the Reign of God (Mark and Luke). Eternal life and the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven and the Reign of God were all pointing to the same mysterious reality. The fullness of life with God as it says in one version of the Glory be: “…as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever.” We have often thought of our life as a time of waiting to enter into “eternal life” or to “go to heaven.” The trouble is that is only part of the story. With the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are anticipating our own bodily resurrection as well. When we die, before the resurrection of the dead, we will “…fly to our beloved homeland” as St. Augustine imagines in his book The City of God. There will be a moment, in God’s own time, after the judgment of the nations (take some time to read Matthew 25: 31-46), when God will bring heaven and earth back together as it was from the moment of creation. Augustinian Father Martin Laird in his lovely book Into the Silent Land writes: “…we are built to commune with God and we will all meet in death.” Our true self is one with our God and with our neighbor. The challenge for us is to live this reality into the concrete and immediate reality of our everyday lives. Or as some put it: “You, and I, and everyone else, are created in the image and likeness of God. Our challenge, therefore, is to live our lives accordingly.” Lent is a time given to us every year to refocus our lives upon God and neighbor. That is why we more intentionally practice prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These traditional “skillful means” are meant to help us to grow in love and compassion, to let go of the falseness of those parts of our true selves where we are in communion with our God and our neighbor.

 

Very recently, the sale of St. Mary’s Nine Mile was completed. This is a reminder that our lives are continually composed of deaths and resurrections. There has been great grief at the loss of St. Mary’s, but let us open our hearts to the many ways that God will bring forth the resurrection in love and compassion from the pain that so many in our community have felt in the years since the closing of St. Mary’s. Even though we worship in St. Michael’s Church, it is important to remember that our community is now Holy Trinity. The place is St. Michael’s but the faith community is something new. This might seem like “just words”, but with the creation of our new parish since the “closing” of St. Mary’s and St. Michael’s (not to forget St. Agnes), we have the opportunity to ask what God may be calling us to be in this time and place. We are Holy Trinity. The Trinity is God’s community of divine love (three that is one). As Holy Trinity parish, let us grow in being the image and likeness of God. Let us be love together for our God and our neighbor.

  

This week we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Wednesday and the Solemnity of Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Friday. The Irish (and we are all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day) celebrate this saint with great exuberance. St. Joseph’s Day is an important celebration for our Italian friends.

 

I will end with St. Patrick’s prayer:

 

May the Strength of God pilot us
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us
Against the snares of the evil ones,
Against temptations of the world.
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord, Always be ours,

This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

 

May St. Patrick, St. Joseph and all the saints guide us into communion with our God and our neighbor.
 
Much Love
Fr. Kevin