Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope this finds you well and safe.
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.” (Mark 4:26-27).
Brothers and sisters, in this weekend’s gospel passage, Jesus offers us this analogy to help us understand the mystery of how God’s kingdom grows in our world. We may ask: what does this tell us?
We have heard many times in learning about our Catholic faith, that we are the Church. We are the Body of Christ that is growing by the grace of God. We are not stagnating, or simply repeating the patterns of what we did in the past. We are constantly being called to do the work of “scattering the seeds.” We are to prepare the soil in new places, open up new fields, and find new ways to spread the message of salvation in this world.
If we want to see the Church grow – and I think that we all agreed that this is the mission we have received from the Lord – then we have to ask ourselves: Who are the people we have not been reaching? What can we do to reach these people, to connect with them, and most importantly to connect them to Christ?
Jesus reached out to people in a way that they could understand and appreciate His message and directly apply it to their lives. That is what we need to do to reach the people who are living on the margins of our Church. We need to learn how to speak their “language”. What are the challenges they are facing? What do they need to hear from us that will offer them hope and sow the seed of faith in their hearts?
Brothers and sisters, please know and always remember that it isn’t so much what we say that is going to make the difference as how we say it. What makes people believe that what we say is true is that we live the faith we profess and live it courageously. We can’t undermine the work of spreading the seeds of the gospel by living our lives as though we never even heard the message of Jesus. I have a strong faith that you and I can do it and make it happen with the help of God.
On a different note, as it was announced last weekend, we encourage you to pay as much as you can of your balance to the Annual Appeal before the end of this month of June. We ask you to do so because if the Archdiocese receives the whole amount of our goal, we will be eligible for a 2% reduction in its assessment rate for fiscal year 2022. Kindly look on this page of this bulletin to find out where we are with the Annual Appeal.
Also, in the name of the parish staff, I congratulate all the children who received their First Holy Communion these past weeks. I thank their parents and guardians who stand beside them to teach and guide them. I thank Jeng Villa, our Faith Formation director, Deacon Edwin Dava, Vena Cheng, and all those who helped our children in their formation and classes.
Please continue to pray for the people of our parish that we all will come together in prayer. It is so nice to see everyone in person and hear your full, conscious, and active participation in our celebration of the Eucharist. Pray also for all our sick brothers and sisters. May God’s healing touch be upon them.
Thank you and God bless you all.
God bless you all.