All the wrong places?

Dear Parishioners,

We listen this weekend to the account of Jesus walking on water. The apostles, floundering on the boat, were so surprised they actually were “terrified,” as Matthew tells us (Matt 14:22-33). They do not think it is Jesus, but rather a ghost. They expect to see Jesus on firm ground, like any normal person. He should not be on water!

In our first reading from Kings, Elijah is trying to find God's presence. It is not in the strong and heavy wind that crushed rocks that God is to be found. Nor is Elijah successful in discovering God in the earthquake and fire that ensue. Instead, it is in a “tiny whispering sound” (1 Kgs 19:12) that Elijah discovers God. The Almighty and Everlasting God is in something very unassuming.

I bet you already see the lesson. God is to be found in the least expected areas of your life. We see him in the grand and glorious moments: a beautiful liturgy, a wedding, a large family gathering by the lake, a beautiful sunset alongside a loved one. But do we see him in the inglorious moments?

We all suffer. St. Paul suffered too. He admits as much to the Romans in our second reading: “my conscience joins with the Holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart” (Rom 9:1-5). Suffering is an unexpected place for God to be present. God is present in Paul's suffering. He is present in ours too.

Jesus came in the midst of a storm to his apostles. Do we find him in our storms? When we are having a difficult day at work, arguing with an intimate, icing our sore knees, there is a tiny whispering voice. It is a task of Catholics, I believe, to train our ears to hear this whisper.

Summer FunWe celebrate the Feast of the Assumption on Tuesday, August 15th. It is a holy day of obligation, and all of our Masses (7am, 8:30am, and 7pm) will be over in the church.

The start of a new school year is approaching! Teachers return this week to prepare for the first day on August 21st. I will celebrate Mass for the faculty and we will host a new parent orientation on Wednesday, August 16th at 6:30pm. Please pray for our teachers, and especially welcome and pray for our new principal, Mrs. Margie Marshall.

This Saturday, August 19th is the Knights of Columbus Steak Cook-Out at St. John Brebeuf parish. Stop by there for a good steak sandwich and to support our Council. If you can't make that, then come to our Men's Club Golf Outing at White Pines. There will be a lot of great giveaways and a fun after-party at the Emerald Isle. And we can be assured that God will be present in all of our bad shots. He is with us in suffering.

Yours in Christ,
Father James


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