God So Loved the World

Father Vince and children at Easter.
Fr. Vince and Children at Easter

Happy Father’s Day to all of our fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, godfathers, and to all those who are that special father figure in our lives! May you know that we love and appreciate all that you do for us and for the many sacrifices you make for so many! God bless you all!

Brothers and sisters, we are now entering the long Season of Ordinary Time in our liturgical year. We call this time of the year “Ordinary Time” but we celebrate at least once a week at our Eucharist that “God so loved the world,” therefore no time is ordinary. Just read John 3:16! Let us not let our eyes become dull to this wonder of God’s love!

And so how can we make this “Ordinary Time” extraordinary? Start here: marvel at a sunrise, smile at a grumpy person, talk to the panhandler and ask what he likes for breakfast and get it for him or her, take a deep breath of fresh air, write a letter to your senator but only in a loving way, be sweet to a coworker who doesn’t deserve it, ask someone how they are and be ready to listen, speak the truth, especially if it scares you, take time to notice the beauty of an old friend, give up your pride and feel God’s love for you just as you are, then go and give that same love to someone who needs it. Speak up for the human rights of every person. And if you need more ideas, read one of the Gospels!

Last weekend we celebrated our first public Masses in over three months! It was quite moving to be celebrating the Eucharist with dear people who have missed our worship together. By and large, I think things went well although a few people could not get into Serra Center since we had reached the 100‐person limit. We continue to Livestream the 10 a.m. and Noon Masses. We will continue this weekend with the same Mass schedule and then re‐evaluate at the end of the month. I remind you that we have added Masses on Saturday at 8, 10, and Noon (Spanish). These Masses feature the readings and prayers of Sunday—they are not weekday Masses. They are Sunday Masses and they are less crowded so you have more of a chance of getting in. Thank you all for your patience.

The recent days in our country have been quite distressing for sure! Our economic situation, the continuation of the COVID‐19 pandemic and the horrendous death toll, and then the latest incidents of systemic racism raising its ugly head once again! In response to the Black Lives Matter, some retort that All Lives Matter. And this is true. Yes, we all matter to God and to one another. But there is a real disparity in our country. As Fr. David Gaa, our Minister Provincial writes: “The truth is that racism continues in our country because it benefits those of us who are white…But if I truly wish to live my faithfully, I need to embrace justice completely, realizing that God’s grace will help me. I need to pray for His help realizing that racism is a spiritual wound.” (Fr. David Gaa, O.F.M. in “An Open Letter to My White Sisters and Brothers Who are Roman Catholic”) And so, I urge us all to pray for the courage to do the right thing. The United States Catholic Bishops offered a beautiful prayer to Our Lady for help to overcome racism. You find it in today’s bulletin (page 8). Amen.

Well, dear friends, next weekend will mark the end of my time with you as your pastor. However, since my move to San Diego is not till August, I will still be here to help Fr. Oscar with some of the Liturgies. It’s been a great run! I have so enjoyed my time with you over these short four and a half years. I only hope that in some little way, God has used me to aid you in your own spiritual growth in the Lord. I will miss you but I know that I will be back from time to time to visit. I love and appreciate you all!

The Lord Bless You — Fr. Vince