From the Pastor’s Desk | June 19, 2022
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
“Then taking the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven,
[Jesus] said the blessing over them, broke them,
and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd.
They all ate and were satisfied.”
– Luke 9:16-17a
Brothers and Sisters,
Are you satisfied? In an episode of “The Office,” Michael Scott pulls out the comments in the office suggestion box. As a manager, Michael is oblivious to any dissatisfaction or challenges at the Scranton branch of the Dunder Mifflin paper company.
Our contemporary culture has moved the often dusty and forgotten comment box to social media. Often without any attempt to communicate directly, frustrations are quickly posted. Yet, little is achieved in improving the crux of the situation. Invitations to share thoughts or comments are sometimes met with skepticism. At times we think the request for feedback is disingenuous. After all, no one wants to hear criticism. Even if the recipient listens intently, yet they don’t immediately remedy the situation, then it can be assumed they don’t really care about our feedback.
Jesus was very intentional when addressing his disciple’s needs. After teaching and healing those seeking cures, Jesus recognized their physical hunger. And instead of dismissing the people to find food on their own, Jesus tasked his apostles to meet the needs of a hungry crowd. Today, the Church still shoulders this responsibility. As the Body of Christ, we are called to extend teaching and healing from the Lord to the satisfaction of the people.
This does not mean that everyone will be happy. Remember, Jesus did not have a one-hundred-percent success rate either; many went away sad, thinking his teachings were too difficult to accept on faith. The challenge to meet the needs of our parishioners requires frequent and open dialogue. As your pastor, I need to hear from you (MTriplett@archbalt.org): what are we doing exceptionally well, and where are we lacking? And I know we might learn about frustrations, perhaps a staff member or I did not properly listen as intently as we should have, or we have yet to resolve a valid concern. As we learn from you, we request you offer us one more chance. It is my hope we would not require the same standard that we are called to forgive one another – 70 x 7 times, yet room to grow is our hope. In the past, as I have missed the chance to return a call or responded to an invitation, I appeal to you for another chance to connect with you.
A pastoral council is another means for the church to stay connected with its pastor. As shared last weekend, we are in need of fellow parishioners to help share the parish vision and assess how effective we are in supporting the needs of her parishioners. How do we keep growing to best meet each other’s needs and those of our neighbors? How well are we centering the life of the parish on the celebration of the Mass and the Eucharist? How can we serve the neglected or marginalized in the community, or still, who among us do we need to be more mindful of? Please take these questions to prayer and when the Holy Spirit offers an answer, please reach out and let us know your thoughts.
Finally, I would like this opportunity to wish all of those who serve as a Father, Grandfather, Godfather, or Father figure, a very Happy Father’s Day! I pray that God continues to bless you and provide wisdom as you love and guide your children!
In the Lord,
Rev. Michael S. Triplett