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March 29, 2020
My Dearest Parish Family,
God be with us always. A Blessed Week to all.
I MISS YOU ALL! I mentioned this in my homily last Sunday, March 22nd. I miss the ambient sound of people and life going on in our Parish campus. I miss being with people and attending to their needs and helping in any way I can those who come to our parish for their spiritual needs. I miss being called and responding to a request - being asked if I have a minute for a question, a comment and to listen to an opinion.
It took a while for me to realize that we are all living in a new normal. Last Wednesday, I woke up early to celebrate a recorded video of our Daily Mass. I was presiding the Eucharist to empty pews. In an instant, I realized what has transpired in the last few days when the Health Emergency suddenly became identified as a Pandemic and things flew of the handle.
The day before I reflected and thought about how can I make the Mass meaningful and relevant. Someone sent me a picture of a priest praying before and empty Chapel with pews filled with pictures of parishioners. I thought we could do that but knowing it will take a while – I first decided on placing on a stand our 40th Anniversary Book. I also asked our Parish Staff to print a list of all the registered parishioners to be placed on a binder which I placed alongside the Anniversary book on the stand in front of the Altar.
If you have been following our Daily Mass that is “Live Streamed” – it is actually recorded earlier so that we can have enough time to address technical difficulties – which is not always a guarantee of a trouble-free live stream. There are more and more pictures placed on the pews each day which makes the Mass more meaningful for us – more of a feeling of connection to you, our parish family. Just so you know, we are now also on YouTube giving you more options to pray and celebrate with us.
Each day can we make a pact to make our first thought and act a Prayer of Gratitude to God. Then let us make a prayer for the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire us how to make the day meaningful and useful. Let us intentionally find a time for a Holy Moment with our loved ones or alone if you live by yourself. Let us find ways and means that we reach out to members of our Parish Family especially those who live alone and are vulnerable.
In the Gospel today our Lord Jesus brought his very good friend Lazarus to life. While at the beginning all seemed lost to Martha and Mary, Lazarus sisters. Martha even spoke about eternal life accepting the inevitability of the death of her brother. The situation right now seemed to be that all seemed lost but if we work together carefully, respectfully and resourcefully we will triumph over the adversity of this Pandemic.
We have a higher and greater power who loves us and will always be on our side. Jesus our Lord and Savior is our hope, our light in the darkness and our comfort in times of distress. God bless and take care.
Love and prayers,
Fr. Thomas Paul K. Naval