August 8, 2021 – From the Pastor

Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,

Fr. Marty JacintoI hope this finds you well and safe.

I would like to reflect on today’s Second Reading taken from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians (4:30-5:2). In this reading, Saint Paul tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We know from the context of this passage and from other passages in Paul’s letters, that anything that harms the unity of the Body of Christ, which is the Church, grieves the Holy Spirit.

It grieves the Holy Spirit since the Spirit calls us into communion with one another and unites us as the one Body of Christ. When we break our communion with one another, we grieve the Holy Spirit, and we work against what the Spirit of God intends for us.

In this passage, St. Paul offers us some good advice on how we can work together with the Spirit to build up the community of God’s faithful. Paul also tells us what to avoid in order not to tear down that community.

We all want to be a positive force in this world, and particularly in the Church. To be that positive force, we must decide to exercise virtue and make the right choices. Saint Paul says that we need to rein in our passions and not let our negative emotions rule over us. “All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.” (Ephesians 4:31)

If we had caring parents who helped us to grow up as healthy and well-adjusted people, that is probably something that we learned as children. Parents, this is something you need to be aware of in your own children’s upbringing. Don’t let them go wild and whacky. That is not good for them, and it is not good for the community in which we live.

The best advice that Paul has to offer us on the positive side is that we need to learn to “be kind to one another, compassionate, and forgiving of one another” (Ephesians 4:32) “so that we can live in love as Christ loved us.” (Ephesians 5:2) This is a lesson that our world desperately needs to learn today. Let us try our best to live today in the simple kindness and compassion that characterizes a healthy community.

God bless you all.

Love,
Father Marty