Sunday, November 10, 2019
Nov 7, 2019
I urge you and ask you to share this article with someone you believe needs to hear this invitation from our parish and me, thanks!
Once again, today we gather around our Eucharistic, unfortunately, there are a number of our sisters and brothers absent from our celebration. We are coming to the end of our liturgical year, soon to enter the Advent Season followed by Christmas when we commemorate God’s physical entry into our human experience. My hope is always that something you heard or experienced during these days touches your heart and inspires you to spread the Good News of salvation in your daily lives.
If you or someone you known have been away from church for a while, my prayer is that the Advent and Christmas Season may signal a new beginning, that something may be healed, that an important relationship may be restored, that differences are reconciled.
St. Augustine once wrote, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.” We often run around in circles searching for meaning and fail to seek it in the obvious places. One of the surest places to feed a spiritual hunger is in the context of a faith community. Maybe now is the right time to make a faith-filled resolution that you will want to keep. Make a resolution to say to someone away from the Church, “Give us a chance. We pray you won’t be disappointed”.
I do know that there are probably good reasons why some of you or someone you known have stopped coming to Mass regularly. Perhaps at some time a representative of the Church hurt you, made an insensitive remark, displayed hypocritical behavior or a seeming unwillingness to listen to or understand your needs, or there is a Church teaching with which you disagree. You may have strongly felt betrayed by revelations of scandal in the Church. You may not approve that your beloved parish just is not the same as it used to be. A change in your own life situation may have left you feeling as if you do not really belong – possibly a failed marriage or a decision to marry outside of the Church. Your work or the demands of family life may have crowded out the space in your life for religious practice. It may simply be that your own family of origin did not attend church regularly, or quite the opposite, you feel that your parents’ beliefs were forced upon you and after leaving home, you chose to spend Sundays differently. On the other hand, you may have simply fallen out of the habit of going to Mass.
Whatever your reason, I would like you to consider coming back! I think you will find our liturgies and times of prayer to be well planned, reverent and meaningful. Yes, you may feel you are able to encounter God more easily at a mountaintop retreat or during a solitary walk along the lake shore than you are in church. Here a community that knows its need for God will surround you. It is about sorrows being divided and joys multiplied. Here you just may find the support you need to truly live your faith.
If you would like to talk more about your relationship to Christ and the Church, know that there are caring people here who will listen in a non-judgmental, accepting way. We will do our best to answer your questions, and if we have hurt you, please give us the chance to make amends. Feel free to contact me, or any member of our pastoral staff: Margie Benza our Pastoral Associate, Deacon Pat or Eric or Anne Gallagher our Pastoral Associate for Formation and Youth. I promise you, you will not shock any of us; we have probably heard it all – and have our own stories about coming to a deeper faith in Christ Jesus. We are here for you.
On behalf of all of us who serve the Church of the Transfiguration, know you are always welcome here and if this column is meant for someone else you know - - please give it to them, thanks!
Let us continue to pray for and take action to bring about peace in our world!
In peace and courage,