Dear Friends in Christ,

On this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Christ summons us to run to Him. His Heart is wide open to receive us. There we will find refuge and strength, a balm to our suffering, a wellspring of healing, a fountain of life, love and goodness.  

As we are faced with all the seemingly insurmountable unfortunate events wrought by the pandemic and our societal woes, we might find ourselves resorting to temporary solutions or to those which only make us more confused and uncertain with fears and doubts.   With all these dilemmas, and especially seeing how a lot of people or even those close to us suffer, we long for an authentic answer which we believe only Christ Jesus can provide.  How we long for Him to come to us again today so we can bring to him all who are sick and possessed.  How we long to have our Lord and Savior come to our rescue today, and offer us a thread of hope we can hold on to, especially when suffering is great or when troubles tempt us to despair.  If only that same Jesus of Nazareth was actually here with us today, curing all who are afflicted, consoling all those who are in sorrow, driving out all evil, preaching to us the good news, sending us His Divine Spirit to enlighten us in truth, filling us with peace and empowering us in love.   

We are assured that indeed, Christ is with us today and always, in each moment of our lives. Christ dwells in our hearts and in all the tabernacles throughout the world.  Christ is present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, awaiting all of us to come to Him, asking us to bring others to Him as well. Christ, the Son of God, is alive during each Eucharistic memorial, bringing forth great hope in the saving power of His passion, death and resurrection.  

And as we are fortified in hope, revitalized in faith, and empowered in love through sacramental communion, we are sent forth to be Christ's hands, heart and feet to the world which is in need of healing and hope.  We are sent forth to proclaim the glorified and risen Christ to our loved ones, to our communities, to those who do not know Him, to those who need His mercies...until He comes again to bring all of us to our final home in His Kingdom in Heaven, with fullness of peace and healing in His everlasting presence.

A week directed by God's Spirit & sheltered in His arms, dear friends! 

Hope and blessings in Christ,

Rev. Jonathan Paala

He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues,
preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee. (Mark 1:38-39)

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