Dear Parishioners of Our Lady of Mercy,
I hope you are well and enjoying this fall season.
This Sunday is the last Sunday before the celebration of the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, and the end of the 2021 liturgical year. We are just two weeks away from the First Sunday of Advent and the start of the 2022 liturgical year. The readings for these Sundays continue to remind us that our earthly life will end, and then there will be an accounting of the way that we have lived. Our lives are short, but they are ultimately significant in terms of how we shall be judged in the end.
This Sunday we must consider the signs of the times. Are fearful, current events pointing toward our imminent destruction, or are they speaking to us about the opportunities we still have to do something about our world in the time we have left?
All of us have been given the opportunity in this life to do good rather than evil. All of us have been given the gifts that we need; the time, the physical health, the mental and spiritual strengths to live a good life. We have all we need to prosper as individuals.
We may not all have been created equal in that regard; some of us have been given more, some are smarter than others, some are more gifted in terms of physical health, some may have been blessed by being raised in wealth and luxury. We need to remember that from those to whom much has been given, much more will be expected. But no matter how blessed we are, or how little we may have, we are all equally expected to put what we have at God’s service and to work for the good of our brothers and sisters.
My friends in Christ, as this liturgical year draws nearer to its conclusion, let us not be paralyzed by our fears. Rather, let us courageously offer God everything that we have, to the best of our ability. Let us do our part to build up God’s kingdom so that on the day of the Lord’s return we may be among the wise, who will “shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament”.
Saying that, I’d like to mention that I am so happy to be in this parish because you are all shining brightly in so many different ways. I see so many different gifts and talents in each of you. I thank God for that.
Last weekend, since OLM is blessed with many Filipino parishioners, we welcomed the Jubilee Cross to our parish at our Noon Mass. This Jubilee Cross is being brought to various parishes with large Filipino congregations to mark 500 years of Christianity in the Philippines. Bishop Greg Studerus was very happy to celebrate with us. He was overwhelmed with your warm welcome, your participation, and your joyful singing at Mass. Thank you for being so welcoming and prayerful.
I thank the decorating committee for the event, headed by Ana Mae Aldea, one of our Parish Pastoral Council members. The hard work and cooperation of the committee members made the shrine for the Jubilee Cross look so beautiful! This happens because you put your heart and effort into all you do. Kudos to all of you.
God bless Our Lady of Mercy parish!