Hello everybody!

This weekend is the Feast of the Ascension of Jesus. The key line is at the end of the Gospel when someone said to the apostles, “ Why are you standing there looking up in the sky. Shouldn’t we be making plans for keeping Jesus’ message alive .”

Those are two great images. The primary message of Jesus was not to ‘ look up ’, but to ‘ look out ’. Jesus would have used his laptop to write his message and then print it. His setting would not be on portrait , rather on landscape . Don’t look up to see Jesus, you have to look out. Irrespective of this Feast of Ascension, the Christ is always with us calling us to a better future. I agree that it may be hard to be bold about the future, but as people of faith, we have to band together. Being bold has to be a communal challenge, not one we can easily handle alone. Somebody said to me this week, “ I wish we could read the mind of God on this mess! ” Not just because I am a priest, I know the mind of the God. Hopefully! The mind of God is the mind of Jesus, the Christ. Not just because I am a priest, I know the mind of Jesus! He said it 40-ways-from-Sunday ! I love you; I will care for you; I will feed you; I will lead you; I will never forget you; we’re making plans; we’re banding together; I’ve given you my power, so use it; I will be with you always until the end of the age! So, look out not up! We will see our brothers and sisters (of the world), and the Lord will speak to us of his plans for us. I know it and you know it!

Sacramental and financial news
I’m just back from anointing two parishioners who are close to death. Finally priests and ministers can get into different senior living apartments. It’s harder to get into Hospices, and very difficult to get into a hospital room. On the bright side, we’ve had 2 weddings in the past 2 weekends. 10 people there as they live streamed the wedding. That’s the best we can do at the moment. Baptisms are only celebrated if there is a serious medical emergency.
In the meantime, we have been working on parish budgets (how exciting is that?). Thanks to those who are able to support the parish during this crisis. Our income is about 50% of what it was 2 months ago. With funds from the PAYROLL PROTECTION ACT, it allows us to cover most expenses 'til the end of the fiscal year. Some time in the fall, we will have to start taking money from savings. Randy Mudge is a great business manager. We are regularly consulting with parish leaders to help plan a direction through this. Things change daily. I’ve talked too long on this. So, I will write a separate one on what we know about resumption of the Eucharist with our community gathering. Stay tuned. 

Stand strong everybody!

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O God of what is true,
Grant us the joys of the life to come
So that our happiness may be fully
Connected to Your great promises.
In the meantime,
Let our minds dwell on that meaning,
Our tongues speak of it,
Our hearts desire for it,
Our mouths pronounce it,
Our souls hunger for it,
Our body thirst for it,
And our entire being search for it,
Until we enter through death
to Glory of the Risen Lord.
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