FROM THE PASTOR’S CORNER:
A word from Pope Francis ~ “We are impatient, anxious to see the whole picture, but God lets us see things slowly, quietly.”
I’ve heard from a number of people that the COVID-19 quarantine introduced or re-introduced them to jig-saw puzzles. When we had the family summer home on Lake Delavin, WI, there always seemed to be a card table set up in corner of the living room with a jig-saw puzzle in progress. Someone would begin a puzzle, go so far until they hit a wall, and then someone else would pick up on the puzzle a few hours later. That routine happened often, different puzzles over the summer, especially with sea side scenes. Sometimes it was hard to separate the blue sky pieces from the blue ocean pieces. The best thing to do was leave the puzzle for a time and then return to it with fresh eyes.
We may not have been doing actual jigsaw puzzles, but it seems that the pattern I just described has been repeating itself over and over again during the past few weeks. The key to completing a jigsaw puzzle is to keep referring to the picture on the box. Without a mental picture of the picture on the box, all the pieces looked the same. But with a constant reference back to the picture on the box, different clues in each piece helps us to group the pieces in the right group, be it sky or ocean. The pieces only make sense if you look at the whole picture.
We been slowly taking steps to re-open our parish to the full sacramental life of the church after several weeks of shelter-at-home quarantine. The pieces of this puzzle don’t always fit together as we would like. Sometime the pieces aren’t even right-side-up! It takes a lot of patience to work through all of the details when we aren’t even sure what our “new normal” picture looks like. As Pope Francis reminds us above, “God lets us see things slowly, quietly.”
Last Monday we took another baby step forward as our parish office reopened with the regular hours of 9am-5pm, Monday – Friday. Masks and social distancing are the norm and someone needs to take the temperature of each staff member as we arrive. Now that we have a smaller staff with our new budget, we are in the process of re-assigning particular tasks that former staff members attended to. The frightening thing is noticing the spike in COVID-19 cases that many states around us have experienced. Hopefully we won’t have to face a major setback in the near future.
As the dangers of the COVID-19 virus are still among us, we need to continue to be mindful of the safety practices that we need to follow as we gather for Sunday Mass. Hand sanitizer, face masks and social distancing are major restrictions that we must face as we come together. Thank you for your understanding in making reservations for your Mass either on-line or by calling in at the office. We were also happy to have resumed our 7:00am weekday and 8:15am Saturday Masses. Since the weekday congregation is smaller, we aren’t taking reservations, but still need to observe the other restrictions of face masks and social distancing in the pews. Our primary goal is the safety of all who come through our doors to be with us in prayer.
As we move into these middle weeks of July, we celebrate the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend. We are nearing the mid-point of the summer. All through this year we have been reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew in our Sunday Gospel readings. Week by week, we are seeing Matthew’s portrayal of Jesus’ ministry unfold before us. This week we begin a new section in this Gospel – Jesus discourse of parables. Over the next three weeks, we will hear some of Jesus’ most familiar parables. These stories were Jesus’ way of teaching the people who gathered around him.
We were very happy to welcome Father Asirvadam Dandu to our parish as our new Parochial Vicar. Thank you for the good wishes and prayers that you extended to him last weekend as he celebrated his first weekend with us at St. Isidore. He had the opportunity to introduce himself at each of our Masses last weekend. We pray that it will not be long before he feels truly at home here with us.
The hot and humid days we experienced this past week assure us that summer is here. We yearn for this season throughout the cold winter months. Now is the time to take advantage and notice the beauty of the summer season all around us. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.
Father Jim Murphy