June 23rd – XII Sunday in Ordinary Time

My Dear Friends,

This weekend we welcome our new parochial vicar, Father David Zallocco, to the Little Flower family. Father David was just ordained last month, and this is his first assignment as a priest. Our parish is no stranger for welcoming newly  ordained priests and forming them to be great leaders within the Church. In the last ten years, we have had Father Philip Tran and Father Luis Flores come to us straight from seminary, and they are both pastors now leading vibrant communities. Join me in welcoming Father David to our parish community, and please pray for him as he begins his priestly ministry here at Little Flower. 

As you look around the pews during Mass this Sunday, you’ll notice that the church is not as full as it usually is. Many of our fellow parishioners are traveling with their families now that school is out and getting the much-needed rest that all of us deserve. Our Lord calls us to rest. We will hear that gospel later this summer. He wants us to find rest in Him. Last week, I celebrated Mass with our Carmelite Sisters a few days before they left to their Mother House in Los Angeles for the summer. During the homily, I shared with them some quotes from our recent popes about vacation and rest that I would like to share with all of you for mediation: 

During Summertime, let us learn how to take a break, turn off the mobile phone to gaze into the eyes of others, cultivate silence, contemplate nature and regenerate ourselves in dialogue with God.

Pope Francis 

Holidays and vacations can help to balance activity with contemplation, haste with more natural rhythms, noise with the heralding silence of peace.

Pope St. John Paul II

Every good Christian knows that vacation is the time to rest the body but also to nurture the spirit through more time for prayer and meditation, to grow in one’s personal relationship with Christ and follow his teachings ever more closely.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

In today’s often frenetic and competitive society, in which the logic of production and profit prevail, often at the expense of the individual, it is still necessary for everyone to be able to enjoy adequate periods of rest, in which to regain their energy and at the same time restore the right inner balance. Vacations, holidays, must be wisely used in order to benefit the individual and the family through contact with nature, tranquility, the opportunity to foster greater family harmony, good reading and health recreational activities; above all, through the possibility of spending more time in prayer, in contemplation and in listening to God.

Pope St John Paul II 

Whether you are traveling or staying home this summer, find time for rest and relaxation. In those moments of quiet, our Lord is speaking to us, which is why it is essential to make prayer a part of our summer vacation regimen. Only in Christ will we find the rest that our hearts truly long for. 

God bless you all,

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