Dear Brothers and Sisters

Jesus asks a very direct question to the Twelve: “Do you also want to leave?” Peter speaks up and affirms that Jesus is the Holy One of God. In his answer he understands that Jesus’ words are challenging but necessary for eternal life. How many times have we been challenged by the teachings of Jesus or the Church? Nowhere does Jesus or the Church claim that gaining eternal life is a cake walk. Rather, Jesus says: follow me. By following the teachings of Jesus and the life of the Church we open our future to experience the great joy that is promised to the faithful.

Living in a world with knowledge at our finger tips makes it easy to learn new things. We find in abundance opportunities to grow in our understanding of our faith, tools to overcome life’s struggles, and examples of everyday people that weren’t afraid to follow Jesus. We are privileged to have such a resource of knowledge and support to help us stay on the journey with Jesus. Many people, unfortunately, find the teachings of Jesus and the Church too burdensome and are deceived into thinking there is an easier way. It’s not convenient or too hard for them. I’m sure we’ve all encountered this and have asked ourselves: “But what can I do about it?”

Here are two thoughts to answer that question.

BE TRULY PRESENT. Be committed to being a disciple of joy. Let people, especially those that are close, know the joy you experience in following the words of eternal life. Dress up for Mass and treat it like the celebration it is, talk about going, share the experience, and don’t be rushed. Relax and enjoy the opportunity to gather with other disciples to worship and be nourished.

BE A TEACHER. Learn something new. Commit to understanding the words of Jesus, not just from the priest’s homily but also from your own reflection on the teachings of Jesus and the Church. Utilize the immense resources available to appreciate the words of eternal life within your personal life experience. By being present and demonstrating that presence, you will be teaching others what you have come to know and believe.

With the beauty and power of nature often comes difficult decisions that have to be made. The big tree in the front of the St. James School building was gravely damaged during the recent storms. In assessing the damage and the hazard that the remaining portion of the tree presents, I have decided to have the tree safely removed. This is not the favored outcome for such a beautiful landmark, but after consultation with a professional arborist and the City of Lakewood, the tree is deemed a safety risk to pedestrians.

With public school starting soon, PSR classes will resume next month. Be on the look out for information regarding starting date, material pickup, registration, and any Covid-19 protocols that will be in place for in-person learning. Call Colleen Houk for more information.

Coffee and donuts will resume following Sunday Masses after Labor Day. Please plan to join us after Mass for some friendly conversation.

Joy to you!

Fr. Workman