From Father's Desk

Dear Friends in Christ,

Time to begin a wild ride! Really since the beginning of the year, we have been on an exciting adventure of parish life together. Quick recap: we raised over $80,000 toward campus improvements. We introduced our mission statement: “Building up the Body of Christ.” from  Ephesians 4:12 . We embarked on a spiritual campaign for Lent, to supercharge our small groups. And this weekend, we begin an extended message series related to the book,  Seriously God?  Beginning this weekend and moving through Palm Sunday, our groups will be meeting, and our whole parish will be engaged with the very timely topic of this book.

This book deals with some hard questions. Namely, how to lean into the challenging reality of what to do when life does not make sense. These past two years of pandemic have been a time of crisis, soul-searching, and motive-questioning. Why is this all happening? How can we endure and even thrive under these conditions? It has been, well challenging, and wearisome. Everyone I talk to wants it all to be over, just to go back to “normal.” Will that ever be so or are we better off moving forward with a novel acceptance of a new normal?

One thing is for certain, during these months we agree that life is meant to be lived, outside… and with people! Hunkering down with Netflix might be okay for a weekend, but for months… time to push through. When we honestly confront all the ups and downs of these past two years, we can come to the conclusion: this just does not make sense. “God, why did you do this?” we might ask. Well that my people is a very timely question, and our time spent with this book will be time well spent.

The idea of why bad things happen to good people has been in front of each of us throughout our lives, and if not in our personal situations, then we have accompanied family and friends through the trials and anguish of life. Fr. Michael and Tom Corcoran offer us three basic principles to begin to navigate these hard questions.

1) It makes sense that God doesn’t always make sense. God is eternal, all powerful, and all loving. He does not think in step-by-step processes. All occurs in the mind of God in the eternal now. God wouldn’t be much of a God if he made sense to our minds all the time. At the same time, God loves us and wants us to come to know Him. He has revealed himself, above all through the scriptures and shared himself with us through the sacraments. 2) God wants us to grow to know his ways. We grow in his ways as we grow in friendship with Him and as we seek not merely to know but to follow, to walk in his ways. We learn the best by making his ways our own. Lastly, 3) it is important to distinguish between God and life not making sense. All of life is not in the direct control of God because in full knowledge and love, God has created other creatures who have freedom. God created angels and men with the capacities to know and love, with intellect and will. Those gifts allow us to make choices, some of which are not in accord with the mind of God. And many times, things do not quite make sense in life because of how these choices unfold through the ripples of time. Many things that do not make sense come from an abuse of free will, often not directly in the life of the person. Keep in mind too that fallen angels are at work thwarting the harmonious unfolding of God’s plan. Keep those three principles in mind and we will be able to enter more deeply into the various ways that things do not always make sense.

I’m looking forward to this journey with you. I am praying for you. I hope God will open your heart as we marvel at the mystery of human & divine interaction.

Yours trustingly in Christ,
Fr. Wilson