Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual help | July 25, 2021
“When Jesus raised his eyes
and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip,
“Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?’”
– John 6:5
Brothers and Sisters,
Blessings on this World Day of Prayer for Grandparents and the Elderly! As we approach the annual celebration of Sts. Joachim and Anne, on Monday, July 26, amid this Year of the Family, let us implore the graces and blessings upon the many wise, elder-witnesses in our lives who have introduced us to the Lord and taught the faith.
Back in 2016, after the Synod on the Family concluded, Pope Francis penned Amoris Laetitia or The Joy of Love. An apostolic letter focused on the family; in it, our Holy Father shared, “The experience of love in families is a perennial source of strength for the life of the Church.” (The Holy Father, Francis, AMORIS LÆTITIA, 68) In the spirit of these words, a good measure of a healthy parish begins in the homes of its parishioners. Homes, where solid and supportive relationships exist and where each member is encouraged and though “far from considering themselves perfect, live in love, fulfill their calling and keep moving forward, even if they fall many times along the way.”(The Holy Father, Francis, AMORIS LÆTITIA, 46). The letter also highlights our extended families and the importance of Grandparents, those “who ensure that the most important values are passed down to their grandchildren.” and, as “many people can testify that they owe their initiation to the Christian life to grandparents.” (The Holy Father, Francis, AMORIS LÆTITIA, 46).
Yes, part of OLPH’s vibrancy stems from the many solid young adults and families who call our parish home. But we are equally blessed with elders who, with deep wisdom acquired by a life full of experiences while following the Lord, help guide not only their families but also us, their fellow parishioners on the right path. And this gratitude for Seniors extends beyond just grandparents – I remember a wonderful single lady in my home parish growing up who participated in the Annual Workcamp and treated us, kids, with great kindness and support. May they always know their impact on the life of our parish! Would you mind taking this opportunity to celebrate the older and wiser among us, these beautiful sources of guidance and encouragement, and share a word of gratitude and thanks as we pray for their continued health and well-being?
In this Year of the Eucharist, we are blessed to begin the “Bread of Life Discourse” from John 6 (and will read from this sermon for the next five weeks, with one exception). As Jesus draws a crowd, he delivers one of his most important sermons, teaching about the gift of his very self. The mystery of the Eucharist is profound and worthy of continued prayer and meditation. Nothing can replace the gift that IS Jesus. He knew this when he asked Philip how they would make it possible to gather food enough to feed the crowd. For us, this predicament is not only daunting and overwhelming but genuinely impossible, but for Jesus, all is possible! Remembering this, let us then gaze upon Christ, who is made present for us on the Altar, begging not only for the one who is our life but for so many who go hungry spiritually.
I extend our deep gratitude to all who help us appreciate the gift of the Eucharist! Thanks to our many committed adorers who demonstrate the importance of spending time with him to the countless pastoral visitors who bring Jesus to be sick, the homebound, and marginalized. My gratitude to Sr. Lorraine, our Deacons, our communion ministers, many of our Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, and Pastoral Care team. Whether formally bringing Jesus in the Sacrament, or reaching out with prayer and connecting family, friends, and neighbors spiritually with Jesus, our thanks!
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett