Message from Father John
Dear Friends in Christ,
During these difficult and uncertain times that we are going through with the Corona virus and the closing down of public Masses, I’d like to ‘throw out’ some thoughts that may be of some help. Let me start with a scripture passage that has been on my mind throughout this. It’s from Matthew 28: 18-19. It’s at the very end of Matthew’s gospel and it’s right before Jesus ascends into heaven. He’s speaking to his disciples (and also to us). He says: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”
Jesus has all power and authority both in heaven and on earth. He has power and authority over all sickness and disease, all viruses. He has power and authority over the elements (He calmed the storm); He has all power and authority over sin, death, and Satan and all his evil forces. He conquered evil and sin by his suffering, death and resurrection. He restored us to new Life. That’s the good news. However, God gives each of us free will. We can choose to turn to The Lord Jesus and draw from this power (His grace, mercy, forgiveness, protection, liberation, love), or not.
One spiritual writer put it this way: “Don’t let the storm distract you from his Holy Face. It’s hard to maintain peace with the constant flow of media in our faces. It’s ok to maintain a sense of what is happening, but now is the time to fill up on the Word of God. God is in control. He is the giver and taker of life. In that you can Trust and have no fear. Just get yourself right with Him. Turn off the noise that distracts you and raises panic.”
I encourage you, and I am trying myself, to use this time wisely. Make use of the Sacrament of Confession, which is available every Saturday from 3:00 pm till whenever, and Thursday night at 7:00 pm. Come and pray before the True and Real Presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament in the Church, open every day from 9:00 am — 5:00 pm. Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is every Thursday at the same times. Pray the Rosary, a most powerful weapon and source of grace and protection, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Pray with your family. Read and meditate on the Daily Mass readings and allow God to speak to you through His Word.
Again, as the same spiritual writer says: “Do not look to your own false expectations of what God should be doing, but instead, just trust Him. Trust that he loves you more than you can fathom…Prayer is the most powerful remedy at your disposal.”
So, let us use this time wisely, in putting Jesus in the first place in our lives. He desires a heart-felt relationship with us so that we can receive this love and give it out to others. He is ‘with us always’, even in difficult and trying times to strengthen us and console us. When we really turn to Him and make Him the very center of our lives, He can and does bring about a greater good out of every situation and circumstance.
I want to end with one more Scripture passage which very much connects with the first one. Jesus says this at the end of His last Supper discourse.. “I have told you this so that you would have peace in Me. In the world you will have trouble, but TAKE COURAGE, I HAVE CONQUERED THE WORLD.”
Let us pray for one another. God bless you!