My dear friends,
One year ago tomorrow, I arrived at Little Flower. To say it has been an eventful year would be quite the understatement. Little did any of us know that we would be confronting a history defining pandemic during this past year. Yet, here we are, and even though we still haven’t returned to what we used to call normal, we face these unique challenges with God at our side.
On this Corpus Christi Sunday in which we celebrate the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, we thank the Lord that we can gather once again to celebrate the Eucharist as a family of faith. Through the first two Sundays since the shutdown, your priests have delighted to see you at Mass, and even though we are experiencing the Eucharist in a different way because of health restrictions, we are experiencing it in person, nonetheless. The time away from Mass has prompted us to never take for granted the gift that is the Real Presence of Christ.
Yet, there are still some things that we cannot do. Before the shutdown, we had expanded hours of Eucharistic Adoration in our chapel with sights of being able to eventually have a 24/7 Adoration Chapel. While the time frame of that plan has been put on hold, the work towards having a 24/7 chapel continued as we did some minor alterations to the first floor of our parish center to eventually give everyone easier access to our chapel. The locks were changed so that we could go adore the Lord simply by entering a four-digit code. All of this was done so that when we are given the green light to start Eucharistic Adoration again, we would be ready to go. Our goal at the beginning of this calendar year was to concentrate on Adoration, and as happy as I am to have you back to celebrate the Eucharist, it pains me to not have our church and chapel open so that our Lord could be adored. Patience is what I’ve been preaching since this pandemic started, and patience is something that your pastor needs sometimes as well.
In a school meeting last week, I told our teachers the old saying that if you wanted to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. A year ago, none of us could have foreseen this nor planned for this, but through the peaks and valleys of life, we must see the guiding hand of Divine Providence. We may not be where we wanted to be which is why we rely on a God who we can constantly lean on to guide us to where He wants us to be. And that’s the key! We always pray in the Our Father for “thy will be done,” but it is sometimes so hard to accept His will. We rely on the intercession and the witness of our Blessed Mother to help make us docile to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Finally, one year in, despite all the adversities we have faced together, I consider myself beyond blessed to be the pastor of the Church of the Little Flower. I was humbled when I arrived a year ago and I continue to be humbled today by your prayers, your evangelical witness, and your love for your priests. This is such a magnificent community of faith that I have the honor to serve every day. I must confess that there was one event I truly missed during our time apart: the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday. It is always a tangible reminder to me as your pastor that I am here simply to serve. Thank you for allowing me to serve you, and as we begin our second year together, thank you for your constant prayers.
God bless you all,