Dear Community and Friends of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, May the Lord give you peace.
I hope you had great celebrations for the Fourth of July. Summer is upon us; perhaps you will have time to get away. It is good to take a break from our regular routines. With the longer days and good weather, get together with family and friends. Enjoy some time alone.
We also welcome many tourists and visitors during the summer months. Thank you for your hospitality. The energy and beauty of this community invite people to be at home and marvel at the opportunity to pray with such a dynamic church.
The Prophet Zechariah speaks of a time of peace. This is a message his hearers longed for. The gift of peace and the end of war was the dream of a people who had known struggle. Like the first hearers of this message, we, too, long for peace. This is a message of hope for us all.
Paul’s letter to the Romans invites us to recognize the grace of God’s Spirit freely and generously given to us. Through the Spirit, we belong to Christ; we are sharers in God. Paul invites his hearers to be faithful to the gift of God, to allow their lives and their vision of the world to be shaped by the breath of God, the Spirit. The Spirit calls us to compassionately just relationships with one another. The Spirit recognizes God’s presence in the stranger. One of Edward Schillebeeckx, OP’s great images is of Jesus’ message and engagement with the poor and disenfranchised “without forgetting the others.” All are invited to this experience of God’s presence.
The message of the Gospel is for all. In the Gospel this week, Jesus praises God for making the message and mission simple. The revelation is welcomed by the childlike. We sometimes make a project out of the simple call to love. Then Jesus invites us to be yoked with him in the mission of affirming God’s love. We are indeed blessed to share in God through the Spirit and to share in the mission of the Gospel with Jesus.
Please continue to pray and embody peace. This is our gift to the church and to the world.
Finally, I thank you for your continued financial support of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi. We are struggling as we come out of the experience of COVID, and your generosity makes a huge difference. Thank you.
Peace and all good,
Fr. Tom, ofm