Take the High Ground with Prayer

Letters from a Pastor to His People- June 2, 2019

Dear Parishioners,

There are many hills in the Holy Land, and when a figure from the Scriptures ascends one, we should pay attention.  Abraham goes up Mount Moriah to sacrifice his son Isaac.  The angel stays Abraham's slaughtering hand, Abraham is established as the father of Israel, and Moriah will become the site of the temple mount in Jerusalem.  About 1,000 years later King David will ascend that very same hill to recreate the nation of Israel.  His son, Solomon, will construct the temple on that mount. 

Noah's ark lands on Mount Ararat.  Moses ascends Mount Sinai, is literally wrapped in a cloud of divinity, and comes down with the Ten Commandments.  And Elijah defeats the pagan priests atop Mount Carmel. 

Christ himself was no stranger to hills.  He gives his famous sermon, which includes the Beatitudes, on an incline.  He is elevated in glory atop Mount Tabor during the Transfiguration and elevated in agony atop Mount Calvary during the Crucifixion.  Finally, he climbs Mount Olivet where he ascends into Heaven, the feast we celebrate today.

The mountains are scenes of victory.  We do not need to be military strategists to know this.  Whether it was Napoleon at Austerlitz, Meade at Gettysburg, or the American military at Kandahar in Afghanistan, taking the high ground is beneficial. 

We must take the high ground in our spiritual lives, especially when we are struggling.  Prayer is the way to do so.  Instead of sinking into the depths of sin and frustration and anger, if we pray, God will elevate us and we will be victorious.  Think of all the challenges we face at home or at work.  I face them too.  If we can pray and bring God into these situations—if we can lift these trials to our Lord and allow him to sanctify them with his Holy Spirit—then we will experience victory and the Kingdom of God will become even more present in our lives. 

This is the last week of school!  Congratulations, teachers, students, and parents--you made it! Monday, June 3rd is 8th grade graduation, as well as the last day for PK3.  Tuesday is the last day for PK4 and Wednesday for Kindergarten.  Friday is the last day for the rest of the school.  We will celebrate Mass at 9am in the Church and dismissal immediately following Mass.  Thank you to all who made the school year so successful, from our principal Margie Marshall and Kathleen Barton (who served as interim principal for half the year) all the way down to our parent volunteers.

Because of the special Friday school Mass, the 8:30am Mass this Friday, June 7th will be in the chapel.  Because it is a First Friday, we will have Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel, from 9am until 5:45pm.  Please consider stopping by at some point during the day to pray and spend some quiet time with the Lord.

My Tuesday Theology Talk on June 4th will be on the 19th Century French Church: Napoleon, St. John Vianney, and more.  Next Tuesday, June 11th, Deacon Hank Lyon will give the Tuesday Theology Talk on the Sacrament of Confession, which will include its theology, its history, and a perspective of the sacrament from St. Faustina.

Next weekend is Pentecost.  We will be doing a special Pentecost Vigil following the Saturday 5pm Mass on June 8th.  There will be an hour of Eucharistic Adoration in the Church, which will include praying Evening Prayer, the Litany of the Holy Spirit, music and more.  We hope you will consider joining us to celebrate the "birthday of the Church" and the coming of the Holy Spirit!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. James

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