RESET and REBUILD -- from the Desk of Father John Moser
In my May 2020 website blog I wrote on the theme of REPENT and RESET. I wanted to encourage you as well as myself to hit the "reset" button in our hearts, in our souls, and in our lives. I know this is never easy [I have lost count of how many times during my life that I made a resolution to improve myself and failed to carry it out], However, take courage because the Holy Spirit is alive and comes to us daily. This same spirit descended upon the apostles and disciples at Pentecost and now is given to you and me. Furthermore, through the Eucharist [participating in the Mass], through sorrow for our sins and celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation, through deepening our prayer life, daily reading - studying - and reflecting upon sacred scripture, praying the rosary ... we can open our hearts and souls more fully to receive the grace from our loving God to reset our wayward lives and troubled hearts. Jesus taught, “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” - Matthew 7:24
With the resumption of Mass with the people, I consider this to be a great time to focus on RESET and REBUILD within the Holy Family of the Bluffs Catholic community. Now is an opportune moment to rebuild our worship - examining the way we celebrate as a faith community at Mass. Here in HFB we are truly blessed with wonderful liturgical ministers (lectors, extraordinary ministers of holy communion, giftbearers, rosary leaders, greeters, ushers, etc.); however, we need to ask ourselves: Can we carry out our ministry more reverently? Is the Lord inviting me to volunteer for one of these liturgical ministries? “… to those who are called … Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.” - 1 Corinthians 1:24
Now is an opportune moment to rebuild our faith community - to seek ways we can unite our parishes and make them more vibrant. Apart for ten weeks during the coronavirus pandemic we might struggle to regain a sense of being a Catholic community in eastern Allamakee County, Let us take a moment to identify our strengths and weaknesses; then find a path forward where our weaknesses are being addressed and our strengths become even better.
Now is an opportune moment to rebuild our ways of serving God and other people - I noticed during the weeks of self-distancing, shutdowns, and self-quarantine there were new ways we found to reach out to others, to provide food to the needy, to express our love and concern to neighbor. These became one way in which we were serving God by serving others, perhaps we can build upon this service to God and neighbor within the parishes of Holy Family of the Bluffs and within our local community. Be mindful of our sisters and brothers in care centers, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or those who are homebound.
Now is an opportune moment to rebuild our devotions - many parishioners shared with me how they prayed the rosary more during the past three months, stopped into church for short periods of "quiet time" with Jesus, sat and read from a children's Bible with their child, said the prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori and made a "Spiritual Communion", read a spiritual book or magazine, watched a live stream of the Mass with Archbishop Michael Jackels. As we return to Mass and "normal" daily living may we rebuild our lives by continuing the wonderful spiritual practices that helped us through this recent worldwide pandemic.
“Draw your strength from the Lord and from his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11
Now is an opportune moment to Reset and Rebuild ... to re-evaluate our faith and religious practices. Have we learned that dinner with family and friends is more important than running around being “busy” without accomplishing much? Are we more aware of connecting with the elderly, those in nursing homes, the homebound, and our neighbors who live alone than we were before? May we strive to proclaim with changed lives that “Jesus is Lord.” We will proclaim this best by what we do, how we live, and how we speak to one another. Let us be signs of peace, joy, and hope to those around us.
Take to heart the words of Saint Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always, I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near.” - Philippians 4:4