As we continue our journey through the Easter season, we hear the beautiful story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. These two disciples recounted how their hearts were burning within them as they listened to Jesus. It was an unexpected encounter that opened their eyes to see Jesus in the breaking of bread. After this encounter, they ran back to the other disciples and told them about their experience. Let this serve as a beautiful reminder of the unexpected encounters that we can have with Jesus.
When we are faced with living our lives differently, how important it is to open our eyes to see how Jesus is making his presence known. As the disciples did, when you experience Jesus unexpectedly run to someone and share your story. Over the past few weeks, I have received some of these stories! They are uplifting and inspirational. Stories of faith, hope, and love can bring calmness and perseverance at any time. This simple act is a great way to spread the Gospel and step into the shoes of an evangelist. That is what the early disciples did, and look at what has happened. Your storytelling will be used by the Lord to make his presence known unexpectedly in someone else.
This time of the year there are many expected traditions and events. From graduations and sport championships to spring weddings, these events typically bring us together as a community. Unfortunately, this year many of these events are cancelled or postponed. One special event that happens in the lives of our young people is the celebration of First Holy Communion. That great day when our second graders receive the body and blood of Jesus for the first time is currently postponed. As a faith community, let us say a special prayer for them as they wait with excitement, patience, and faith for that day to come. Also, I bring to your prayer those who have prepared and are waiting to come into the Catholic Church. Though spiritually united with us, they wait patiently for the day to be Baptized or to make their profession of faith in the Catholic Church.
Life around the rectory is quiet. We continue to do most work remotely, especially monitoring our financial stability. Thank you for your continued financial support of the parish. We are able to stay current on our liabilities and support our staff. As mentioned before, we added a credit card option to the online giving program, providing another safe and secure way to donate for the good of the Church. There are some great things happening with the properties. I continue to have positive discussions about a potential purchase of the Saint James school and rectory buildings. I have a diocesan meeting next week to see how to move forward. Work has resumed on the wall at Saint Clement, and work on the new parking lot will start soon.
Next week, Governor DeWine plans to slowly and safely begin loosening restrictions for necessary businesses throughout the state as long as they can operate and maintain social distancing for the foreseeable future. I wonder if he scheduled that day because he knew that May 1st is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph the Worker! Or maybe it was Divine inspiration, being that Saint Joseph is the patron of workers. Let us pray through him for the recovery and safety of our work force.
Fr. Joseph Workman Pastor
Prayer to Saint Joseph the Worker
(St. John XXIII)
This beautiful prayer was composed by St. John XXIII (1958-63). It places all workers under the patronage of St. Joseph, and asks for his intercession so that we may regard our work as a means of growing in holiness.
A Prayer for Workers
O glorious Joseph! Who concealed your incomparable and regal dignity of custodian of Jesus and of Mary under the humble appearance of a craftsman and provided for them with your work, protect with loving power your sons and daughters, especially entrusted to you.
You know their anxieties and sufferings, because you yourself experienced them at the side of Jesus and of His Mother. Do not allow them, oppressed by so many worries, to forget the purpose for which they were created by God. Do not allow the seeds of distrust to take hold of their immortal souls. Remind all the workers that in the fields, in factories, in mines, and in scientific laboratories, they are not working, rejoicing, or suffering alone, but at their side is Jesus, with Mary, His Mother and ours, to sustain them, to dry the sweat of their brow, giving value to their toil. Teach them to turn work into a very high instrument of sanctification as you did. Amen