June 26, 2020
Peace of Christ. I wish I could adequately express how much I care for all of you and that I would do anything for you as one of your priests. These past weeks and months have been full of so much pain at times. Perhaps the only thing I could say is that I want to be there in some way for that and to say thank you for your faithfulness in the midst of it all.
For a long time, one of the things I really enjoy doing when I’m at home with my parents is to do manual labor outside. I’ve tried to keep this quiet from Fr. Tim, otherwise I might find myself planting flowers and working in his backyard!! But in all seriousness, I worked landscaping for a summer in college and so I’ve always enjoyed cutting grass, trimming hedges, and working in the garden. I had the opportunity to be home last weekend and found myself pulling weeds in my parents’ garden on a beautiful afternoon. As I worked outside in the sunshine, just for a moment the painful realities of the past weeks and months seemed far away. That in itself was a gift. But something else struck me from my time and I wanted to share this brief thought with you.
So often our Lord uses images from nature in His parables. Barren soil representing the hardness of the human heart or the exhaustion from life’s demands. Weeds representing the sin and evil that seemingly spring up everywhere you look. The sowing of the seed which often involves doing the same thing over, and over, and over again with very little fruit. Maybe it was no coincidence then that the Fall of Adam and Eve took place in a garden and that our Lord was betrayed in a garden. But it was in a garden too where the victory was won. That fateful tree of our first parents was overturned by the tree of life, the wood of the Cross. And from a tomb in a garden rose our Savior, victor over sin and death.
Yes, right now there is much barren soil, countless weeds of sin and evil that permeate our world, and probably a lot of us tired of doing the same thing over, and over, and over again. But over this crazy world that is our garden, the sun still shines, the rain still pours, and we have a loving God who will somehow see us through all of this. What we can’t do is forget this. That we are deeply, deeply loved. By God and by so many others. It can be easy to get caught looking at all of the weeds and the thorns of this world. There is much that could justify us becoming cynical, falling into despair, or losing hope. So maybe what I am trying to say is that there in the garden, I realized that I hadn’t looked up at the sun in a while and that made me see the whole picture once again. Maybe what I am trying to remind myself, pray for, and share with you is that we can’t forget this. The sun will shine again, love never fails, and in the meantime, may we be faithful to the Cross we’ve been given.
Video Mass for Sunday, June 28th. Here is the recorded Mass celebrated by Fr. Tim and Fr. John for this upcoming Sunday (the 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time). We provide a worship aid to help you better enter into the prayer of the Mass. We are thankful for the work of our liturgists Brian Eggers and Mary Robertson, and our cantor Amy Sobczak. Thanks also to David Vartanian and his son Blase of DV Productions for their tireless efforts in helping to make these filmed Masses possible.
Parish Financial Support. We continue to be humbled by your financial support of the parish during these tender and tenuous times. Thank you so much, it has been amazing to witness the generosity of so many! Please mail in your envelopes and contributions to our parish office (SS Peter & Paul Parish, 2491 N Murray Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211), and our parish staff will process these.
Please do not hesitate to contact either Fr. Tim (Cell: 414-762-7986; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Fr. John (Cell: 414-305-3824; email@example.com) if you need anything! Be assured of our love and prayers.
Sincerely, with love,