My dear parishioners, even though I’m not with you this weekend in the parish, wherever I am you are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m grateful to Rev Fr Clarence Dass and Fr Robert (Myanmar priest) who both agreed to assist me in my absence for the weekend and weekday Masses. We are in the third Sunday of Easter and the Risen Lord invites us to stay faithful and to be His true followers. We are commanded to carry on the work He had begun 2,000 years ago.
I understand your daily tasks and commitments at home and in your work place may cause you tremendous tension and stress. On top of this some of you are pressured and challenged with your commitments in various church ministries. Many are like lukewarm spectators in the congregation, not seeing the need nor have the desire to serve. You may think that you have not been called nor gifted for any ministry in the Church. I want you to reflect on these words of St Peter: “Each of you has received a special grace, so, like a good steward responsible for all these varied graces of God, put it at the service of others,” (1 Peter 4:10). These words refer to the clergy as well as to the faithful. I have my role to play in the church and I invite you to be in service of the church in your ordinary way within the Body of Christ.
There are only a few members in our parish actively involved in the various ministries and in Jesus’ mission. Some prefer to stay comfortably seated in their pews instead of serving. Not all are called to specifically serve in the various ministries but whether you are actively serving or not, we will all do well to encourage our brothers and sisters who are bravely doing their little part to contribute to the running of the parish. They may be lacking or weak in many areas, but your simple gesture of praying for them or your utterance of a word of encouragement will increase their spirit of enthusiasm in their ministries and in their particular mission in our church. I’m sure in return they will pray for you to have a stronger faith and trust in God’s word.
In three weeks’ time we will be celebrating our Parish Feast day – Feast of St Joseph the Worker. Being a priest for the past thirteen years, I have seen many of us being hurt or hurting one another. In a dynamic church, which is fully alive, there is bound to be some “stepping on someone’s toes”. I too may have unintentionally upset or offended you. Let’s not keep grudges but allow ourselves to be healed. “Let us be concerned for each other, to stir a response in love and good works,” (Heb 10:24).
Fr. George Packiasamy