August 13, 2017

This Week’s Message from Father Dave… 

It would be nice if we could walk on water! The very thought of doing something that appears impossible creates wonder and awe. Jesus walks on water and we say, “ He is Jesus we should expect it.” Peter also walks on water. His intentions are sincere. He wants to be like Jesus. Why not try it. Peter for the first couple of steps gets it. Focus on Jesus and stay on the surface. If you lose focus on Jesus gravity takes over. Should we consider Peter sinking unsuccessful on his part. He accepts Jesus invitation to come on to the water. He has no problem coming out of the boat and for a very brief moment he is where Jesus wants him. When Peter realizes the size of the waves and the force of the wind, he is saved by Jesus’ outstretched hand. Jesus does not let him sink. This story is full of imagery. Jesus goes to the mountain to pray. His disciples are in the boat while a storm is beginning on the sea. This account has so many applications to our own lives. Prayer and stormy seas speak to us. Can prayer guide us through the most difficult moments of life. Can we sense that Jesus is reaching out for us so we do not drown in the midst of life’s storms. Let’s connect this story with the most troubling time for Peter. He denies Jesus three times. I wonder at that moment did he feel as if he was drowning. Not in Matthew’s version of the Passion Narrative, but in Luke’s gospel, Jesus actually looks at Peter after the denial. I wonder if it was the same look that Peter experienced as he glanced into the eyes of Jesus as he lifted him out of the water and helped him back into the boat. No one is exempt from the stormy seas of life. We are in denial if we believe that praying everyday, going to church on Sunday, and doing good deeds will keep us from experiencing difficulty in life. Our prayer, in many ways, prepares us to meet head on the trials and tribulations that come our ways. Prayer gives us the patience we need to persevere and grow through many rough and difficult moments. This is what Peter will learn from his own experience. He witnesses the importance of prayer through the example of Jesus. He will make prayer a part of his own life. He will come to understand in the wake of the Resurrection that Jesus will sustain him in all things. That the grace of a powerful, prayerful relationship with Christ will help him embrace great leadership, the spread of the Church, and even a horrific death. Hopefully, we can carry this great story of faith with us as we leave today. Jesus calls us to intimacy and dependency on him. We come to realize that is exactly where we need to be. All our efforts are in response to the great example and sacrifice Jesus has made for us. When we pray we are giving God our time and in response we receive the strength to endure and carry on in life. The waters are inviting at times, and when the water is stirred up that is when our faith truly kicks in.

Today is the Parish Picnic at the Kirtland Senior Center. I want to thank the Picnic Committee for all the preparation and work that it takes to make this day possible. We have a great group of people who do a lot to provide a good day for us. I hope you have the chance to stop by and see us. We will be at the Kirtland Senior Center from 11 AM to 5 PM.

This coming Tuesday is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is a Holy Day of Obligation. Masses will be on Tuesday at 8:30AM and 7PM in Hanson Hall.

The painting has begun in the church, all appears at this time to be on schedule. We will be celebrating Mass in Hanson Hall until next Sunday, August 20th. Our plan is to begin Masses again in the church on Monday, August 21st at 8:30AM. We will inform you if there is a change in plans.

The RCIA is a process for those who have never been baptized and desire baptism in the Catholic faith. As you know our prayer at the end of the Universal Prayers (Intercessions) at Mass is to bring awareness to all of us about the RCIA. Our hope is to ask anyone you know who has not been baptized or fully initiated (have not received the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation) to enter the RCIA. If you have someone in mind who can benefit from this process call the Parish Office and let us know.

We are half way through the month of August and many of you are thinking about the beginning of the school year. Some schools will begin this coming week. I am amazed to see how quickly the summer break comes to an end. I hope and pray that any transitions that take place as administrators, teachers, or students will be smooth and with calm waters. Enjoy this coming week and I hope to see you on Tuesday, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.