St. Joseph the Worker
This fourth Sunday of Easter reminds us that Jesus himself is the gate that brings us into good pastures. During this time of reflection as we understand our social lives differently, and as we begin to “open up,” it is the perfect opportunity to evaluate our spiritual lives. Is Jesus’ voice the voice that you follow? Have you honestly taken time to listen? Are there other voices in your life that distract you from hearing the Shephard’s voice? The voice of the true Shepherd leads to life. Other voices that do not guide us into a life of virtue will only deceive us and prevent us from living life most abundantly. The gate is open, and we are being called. We hear His voice. Now is the time to enter!
As we are asked to continue social distancing and refrain from large gatherings, our Church leaders invite us to continue the practice of spiritual communion with Jesus and His body the Church throughout the month of May. The decree from the Ohio Conference of Bishops highlights the hope that, with patience and prayer, we may be able to gather again in person for the celebration of Mass on Pentecost Sunday, May 31. Pentecost marks the conclusion of the Easter Season and the birthday of the Church. I’m confident this is a hope that we all share.
Starting a new month, we are encouraged to slowly “open up.” While government leaders use this phrase in referencing the reboot of our economy, I also believe it refers to a mindset of patient anticipation of how God is going to call us to worship Him. Our liturgies will be experienced differently than what we have previously enjoyed. The liturgy itself will not change, but how we gather, participate, and offer praise may for a time be unique. With our reliance on God, we look with hope for the day we will worship together in a safe manner. Only God knows when this will take place. Until then, we listen to the voice of the Shephard ever present with us in our spiritual communion.
Life in the rectory is pretty basic. Father Deo and I manage only to get on each other’s nerves a few times a day. We both have our different routines that help us stay mentally, physically and spiritually healthy. Our prayer for you is that you are doing the same! It is easy to lose track of time or feel like you’re in a rut. With the spring weather arriving, be sure to open the widows and let some fresh air in and encourage others to do the same. Your gentle encouragement could bring a new sense of strength to someone that may be in some form of need.
As we continue to experience these unique times, let us stay steadfast in prayer for one another and for all those affected by this pandemic. Let us also remember to prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit on our ecclesiastical and civic leaders as they slowly guide us through this time back towards a sense of normalcy.
Fr. Joseph Workman