Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
In our first reading this weekend, we heard Ezekiel complaining to God about the mission he had been given to speak to a rebellious, hard-hearted, and obstinate nation. Ezekiel did not think he was going to accomplish anything, but he knew that God wanted him to go anyway. At the very least, those who heard his message would recognize that there was a real prophet among them.
That feeling is familiar to me and to every priest and minister in the Church. We all face it. We ask ourselves, “Why me? Why should I put myself out there as a spokesman for God to preach the gospel?” We know that God must have someone else who can do a better job than us. And we are probably correct about that. God could have chosen someone better than us to deliver his message. God does choose some tremendously talented people. But still, that does not mean that God did not also choose us – less talented and not-so-holy people!
Brothers and sisters, that is what it means to be truly faithful. It’s not just believing the gospel when things are going well. It is also a matter of persevering in the faith when we are facing trials and tribulations.
We know that God’s Church is suffering today in various parts of the world. But that is only to be expected when you are trying to do God’s will. And it is often the prophets among us who are the ones that are being targeted. So, when we hear bad news or hear of bad situations in the Church, we should not give up our faith. This is just God’s way of reminding us that the message of our faith is not about its ministers. The message of Jesus does not depend on how good and perfect our leaders are. It is about how good and perfect God is and how God wants to bring us closer to him in faith.
So, I ask you to pray for everybody. We all need prayers to go on living in this life, especially in these challenging times. Without God we will not be able to do what we ought to do.
Pray also for our country as we celebrate Independence Day this weekend. Happy 4th of July!
God bless you all.