FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
PARISH OFFICE POSITION
We begin this week’s article with a note of gratitude and well wishes for Pam Housworth, the parish financial administrator for the past 4 plus years. In this time, Pam was challenged in getting our financial records onto a new computer program, and has been instrumental in updating these records for our parish, for which we are grateful. Pam has taken a new position at Christ the King parish in Spencer, and we congratulate her and wish her success in this new endeavor.
St. John the Baptist now has a position open for a part- time financial secretary/ bookkeeper. If you would like more information about this position, please contact Brian Kaiser, chair of St. John the Baptist finance council or you may contact the parish office.
RELATIONSHIP IS KEY
As we continue working our way through this time of uncertainty, I am reminded of a note I once received, a note that is applicable for our times. This note (cannot recall the author) read: rules without relationship leads to rebellion. This is a great insight, and it speaks to the critical difference between Christianity and other religions in the world. We are the only ones who know a personal God and savior. When we follow the ‘rules’ we do so out of love; it is a response to God first touching our hearts and minds. Other religions do not have this personal relationship, and for them the rules can lead to rebellion in their hearts. Even for us Christians, if we are not in a relationship with God, the rules can seem overbearing, and can lead to rebellion. I think we all know people or have family members who no longer practice their faith because they lacked that relationship, and the rules became simply unbearable. Relationship is the key to all areas of our lives.
Each Sunday is a celebration that calls us to reflect on our relationship with God as the primary relationship in our life. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are an eternal relationship, and they invite us into their relationship. How are we doing in this relationship? Is my relationship with God the primary relationship in my life? This is the one that all other relationships in our lives are based on, and their strength is a direct ratio of our relationship with the Holy Trinity. Our relationship with our spouse, our children, our friends, our parents; anyone and everyone are only as healthy as our relationship with the Holy Trinity, who is closer to us than our beating heart.
It is easy to forget these things. We can all get caught up in trying to build a perfect world for our children, striving for that perfect job, going after that newer, bigger house with a perfectly manicured yard, spending all our time and energy on things, we can forget who we are doing these things for. None of these are bad in and of themselves, but they need to be in balance, or all of our lives will be out of balance. The Covid19 pandemic is a test for all of us in one way or another. How we respond is a statement of who we trust in. Do we simply trust in the state? Science? Our medical practitioners and medical infrastructure? These are all good, but they are only part of the equation we need as human beings. We are material and spiritual beings. Neglecting our spiritual reality leads us on a dead end path. Perhaps this is a time to strengthen our relationship with our merciful Father, deepening our prayer life and our devotional life, preparing our hearts for the day, hopefully soon, when we can return to the sacraments in their fullness.
Here is an exercise to try: if I were given 5 months to live, what would I change in my life? And remember, for some of us, this is not an exercise.
God bless, Fr Jim