A Mother’s Love
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can understand our tears,
Can soothe our disappoints
And calm all of our fears.
There are times when only a Mother’s love
Can share the joy we feel
When something we’ve dreamed about
Quite suddenly is real.
There are times when only a Mother’s faith
Can help us on life’s way
And inspire in us the confidence
We need from day to day.
For a Mother’s heart and a Mother’s faith
And a Mother’s steadfast love
Were fashioned by the Angels
And sent from God above.
by Carter Williams
2) Here is the playlist from Elke (thanks again Elke!!)
Heaven on Earth
A Sunday reflection by Fr. Ron
Sometimes we act as though we can have heaven on earth. Then life hits us over the head and reminds that such a thing will never happen. I remember back in February, when I was celebrating a Mass in the Spanish parish, I told the people that the most devastating effect of the Coronavirus would be that it would separate us from each other. By its very nature, this virus divides community. We all know how detrimental that is, because as every true Christian knows, to be, is to be in community.
Today we see how true that is, at least in terms of physical separation. This separation from our family, our friends, and from our church has been very painful. Given that we are spiritual beings and possess the gift of a God-given soul, we are compelled to reach out to one another and still create community, albeit in new and creative ways.
What is heaven? It can be defined in many ways but none would be adequate enough to describe the glory it promises us who live in faith and hope. There is, however, one attribute that must be true. In heaven, there will no longer be separation among us. We will be one, together in Him who saved us by His sacrificial love.
Let us not forget the first part of John’s Gospel: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Through Him all things were made and one day we will return to where we first came from. Finally, there will nothing left to separate us! No color of skin, no separation of classes, no rich or poor, no difference of language or culture, no fame or fortune, no fear, no misunderstanding, no hate, no distance or division whatsoever. We will all be ONE, in HIM. Finally, no separation!
This is not my opinion, it is the gospel message for this Sunday: Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.
On May 9th, I celebrated 33 years of my priestly service. I have seen the power of community over and over again. True community breaks down the gaps that separate us. I have seen how those who have much, reach out and help those who have little. I have seen how the power of forgiveness can reunite souls. I have seen how faith can open our hearts to those who are “different” and inspire is to move from selfishness to generosity. I have witnessed these things in you and in many other faithful disciples. I have seen Christ in community and I know it is but only a taste of what is yet to come.
If I could ask for one gift from my parishioners on the occasion of my priestly anniversary it would be that we will not return to our future “new normal” carrying the baggage of our old ways. That we would strive to be more inclusive than exclusive, that we would build up more than tear down, that we would seek out the positive and not give into negativity, that we would say less “me” and more “us”, and that we would strive to be one Christian family, a community of faith and love.
Heaven on earth? Sorry, that will never happen. The latest lesson has been this virus. However, we should never forget our part in building of the Kingdom of God on earth. How? Only one way: by being TOGETHER, in community.
God bless you and keep you safe and strong, Fr. Ron
Later I noticed a submariner with a T-shirt that declared “Death from below!”
Then, standing in line for chow one day, I was served by an Army cook. His T-shirt had a skull with a crossed fork and spoon underneath and yet another warning: “Death from within!”