Deacon’s Corner, May 24, 2020

 

It is difficult for me to write something different each Memorial Day.  Because, no words can describe such a solemn day to remember the men and women who literally gave everything they had so we can enjoy the freedoms we have.  So, I would like to share my favorite Deacon’s Corner for Memorial Day from a few years ago.  I wrote about 2 great men who had a big influence in my life.  This year, I’ve added one more.  Each of them were part of the Greatest Generation we all owe so much.  The generation that taught my generation how to preserve in hard times when the entire world can seem hopeless.  Each of these men were faithful and hardworking.  They loved God, their Catholic faith, and are now home with the Lord.

My dad was 19 and part of a landing craft crew when he landed on Utah Beach the morning of D-Day.  As they hit the beach, his landing craft was disabled.  Under heavy fire, they abandoned their craft, hastily picked up whatever equipment they could find lying in the sand and joined an Army recon unit fighting their way off the beach.  For a month, he fought to liberate French towns in Normandy before returning to his ship.  On one of those Sundays, dad attended Mass at a small, village church.  A little, feisty nun made he and his buddies leave all their guns and ammunition outside the church door before they could enter for Mass.  When he got back to his ship, he discovered half of his crew never made it off the beach.  Dad died suddenly over 10 years ago, never really talking much about his war experience.

Bob was a dear friend who God put in my life after dad died at a time when I really needed a father figure. He was also crewed a landing craft.  Bob was 18 and halfway to Japan for invasion of the mainland when the war finally ended.  Bob provided security for the USS Missouri as the Japanese signed the surrender document aboard it.  He remembers sailing into Tokyo Bay immediately afterward, wondering if it was all really a trap.  Bob spent the rest of the war clearing the rubble from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and bringing food and water to Japanese citizens who survived the devastation.  Bob died 3 years ago when his heart was too tired to pump anymore.

John was a parishioner at St. Mary on the Lake.  He sat at the end of the pew each Sunday and shook my hand as I processed out.  Each time, I thanked him for his service to our country, and he thanked me for serving God.  John was barely 18 when he fought in General Patton’s 7th Army all the way up the Italian peninsula to push the German army out.  John has 3 Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.  The last time I saw John was this past February as he re-told me his many memories about his wartime experience.  He was bed-ridden at home and I brought him communion.  John died a few weeks later, taking his stories with him.

I remember about a month before Bob died, our son wrote him a letter for his 90th birthday celebration.  The letter said, “instead of me saying ‘thank you for your service,’ I want to say thank you for putting your life on hold 70 years ago to preserve our nation’s freedom and fight tyranny abroad.  Thank for ensuring evil will not triumph or reach our nation shores.  Few people know the unique feeling of signing your life away for a cause greater than one’s self.  Few people know what it is like to raise your right hand and take an oath.  Few people know what it is like to put your life on hold and go to a foreign country to fight, knowing full well that a living, breathing, thinking enemy is waiting for them when they get there.  Your service to our country meant the preservation of our freedom for many years to come, and your sacrifices for our nation will never be forgotten.   Respectfully, Major Justin Amthor USMC.”

While speaking at a memorial service after the war, General George Patton said, “let’s not ask God why these men had to die. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”  As we kick off the summer this Memorial Weekend, may we pray for the men and women who sacrificed their lives to fight evil and protect freedom.  May we never forget them – and thank God that they lived.  May perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace.

Deacon John

 

Deacon’s Corner, May 17, 2020

For me, there are two types of people – those who believe God exists and those who don’t.  Because, how can you be in the middle?  Is “kind of” believing a “yes” or a “no”?   The answer to that question determines how someone views life.  So, here is something to quietly ponder while sitting around the house waiting to go dine at your favorite restaurant again….

 

An atheist would say this: I will live my life according to these beliefs:  God does not exist.  It is foolish to think that there is a God with a cosmic plan.  That an all-powerful God brings redemption and healing to the pain and suffering in the world is a comforting thought, however, it is only wishful thinking.  People can do as they please without eternal consequences.  The idea that I am deserving of Hell because of sin is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power.  The more you have, the happier you will be.  Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose in a world with no God.  There is freedom to be who I want to be.  But “with God, everything is fine”, it is ridiculous to think I am lost and in need of saving.

 

I have to admit, this view of life is a compelling argument for someone who only wants to be accountable to themselves.  But, what about the view of a Christian?  To find out, let’s take a look at what the atheist said, and say it in reverse.  Let’s begin where the atheist’s belief in God ends.

 

As a Christian, I say thisI am lost and in need of saving.  It is ridiculous to think everything is fine.  But, with God, there is freedom to be who I want to be.  In a world with no God, our existence has no grand meaning or purpose.  “The more you have, the happier you are” is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power.  Because of sin, I am deserving of Hell.  The idea that people can do as they please without eternal consequences is only wishful thinking.  It is a comforting thought, however, that an all-powerful God brings redemption and healing to the pain and suffering in the world.  That there is a God with a cosmic plan, it is foolish to think God does not exist.  I will live my life according to these beliefs.

 

The difference in how an atheist and I view life can be summed up in one simple word – HOPE.  Hope that even though my life has been turned upside down, God has a plan, and His plan is good.  Hope that God will see me through to the other side of the crosses I carry, and my life will be better because of it.

 

In our second reading today, St. Peter said we must “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Peter 3:15).  What will YOU say when asked?  Will it be “because the more I have, the happier I will be”?  Or, will you say “an all-powerful God brings redemption and healing to the pain and suffering in the world”?  The choice is yours to make.  But, the consequences of that choice determine how you view your life.

Deacon John

 

Deacon’s Corner, May 10, 2020

In the Gospel today, Jesus tells his disciples to keep the faith and not worry.  They still ask “where are you going?  Can we come along?  How do we get there?”  Jesus says, “where I am going you know the way”.  We know the way, too.  But, the way is not always an easy path to travel.  Because the way takes us through a conversion of our heart.  It begins with our own crucifixion – travels through forgiveness – and ends being filled with compassion and mercy.

Whoever dares to follow Jesus will undergo crucifixion.   We suffer will suffer the same fate as Jesus.  Satan used misunderstanding, ignorance, and jealousy to kill Jesus.  So, why wouldn’t he use them to take us down a dark path of spiritual death?  After all, some point in life, we can be misunderstood, envied, and even hated.  It can lead to persecution or false accusation, and eventually being nailed to a cross.  But that’s where resurrection comes in.  Through our crucifixions we die to our old self – but then rise again with a new heart that God forms to show compassion and the ability to forgive.  Through our crucifixions we are born to a new life.

Forgiveness lies at the core of our Christian faith.  Remember, Jesus extended His forgiveness even when dying on the cross – even praying to His Father asking to forgive them.  Jesus didn’t hang on to bitterness or anger.  He showed grace and love to those who wronged Him.  The ability to forgive requires humility with the desire to understand each other and reconcile – no matter who is at fault.  Choosing to forgive doesn’t condone sin.  It doesn’t excuse the wrongs done to us.  Nor does it make the hurts go away.  Offering forgiveness simply frees us to enjoy God’s mercy by inviting Him to accomplish beautiful works of peace within our hearts to restore grace in our relationships with others.  Forgiving demonstrates our humbleness and expresses our trust in God that everything will be OK.

As followers of Christ, we don’t have to ask how to get to the Father’s house.  We know the way because Jesus showed us.  It’s a journey that begins and ends in our heart.  A heart which undergoes conversion filled with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and the burning desire to help others.  The question is – do we want to make that journey?

In the spirit of this Easter Season, may we always remember that resurrection trumps crucifixion, and none of us who are crucified for Christ stays in the tomb for long.  God will always roll back the stone so we can be born again with a heart that wants nothing more than to just be content with our life as it is – and love our God more than anything else.  We know the way to the Father.  The only question we must ask ourselves is do we have the courage and faith to take that first step to get there?

Deacon John

 

 

As we face each day with new uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, may we be thankful for the blessings God has given us, grateful for the families and friends we are isolated from, and mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.

 

Psalm 20, “A prayer for the king’s victory”:

May the Lord answer in this time of trial; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.

May he send you help from his shrine and give you support from Zion.

May he remember all of your offerings and receive your sacrifice with favor.

 

May he give you your heart’s desire and fulfill everyone of your plans.

May we ring out our joy at your victory and rejoice in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant all your prayers.

 

I am sure now that the Lord will give victory to the anointed, 

will reply from his holy heaven with the mighty victory of his hand.

 

Some trust in chariots and horses, but we in the name of the Lord.

They will collapse and fall, but we shall hold and stand firm.

 

Give victory to the king, O Lord, give answer on the day we call.

 

The prayer after the Psalm reads:

Lord, you accepted the perfect sacrifice of your Son upon the cross.  Hear us during this time of trouble and protect us by the power of his name, that we who share in his struggle on earth may merit a share in his victory.  God has crowned his Christ with victory!   Amen

 

 

Deacon’s Corner, May 3, 2020

As we begin our 7th week of isolation from COVID-19, I can’t help to think of everything put on hold that I used to take for granted.   I don’t need to ramble here about what all those things are, you know as well as me.  But, I do think this Sunday is a good time to reflect on something we can all take for granted, because it has been there seemingly forever.  That “something” is my Catholic faith.

During this isolation, I’ve realized how I take for granted worshiping at Mass every Sunday with my parish families, or any day of the week.  I take for granted how I can receive the Eucharist almost at will, or can stop by the church anytime during the day to spend a few minutes of solitude with our Lord.  I take for granted the rich traditions of my Catholic faith, and what I really believe as a Catholic.  So, I thought I would take another look here at just what do we believe?

We believe God created everything that exists – and he created a universe that is good.  Our story is humanity’s story, and begins before time was even measured.  It is recorded in the Bible, which simply means “book.” Jews and Christians share the first books of the Bible – for Christians, they are called the Old Testament.  The New Testament is our story of Salvation.  The Easter Story we celebrate every time we worship at Mass.

We are a community of believers who span the globe – our very name, “catholic,” means universal. We are members of smaller faith communities called “parishes”.  Our core beliefs are summed up in our Creed which we pray at every Mass.  We are the original Christian Church, which began when Jesus himself said to the Apostle Peter, “You are the rock on which I will build my church. The gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Every pope since then has been part of an unbroken line of succession since Peter, the first pope.

Ever since the 1st Century, we have believed that when Jesus said at the Last Supper, “Take this and eat – this is my body; take this and drink – this is my blood,” he was giving us the gift of his real presence in the form of bread and wine. We call this the Eucharist – a name that comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving. The Catholic Mass is a Eucharistic celebration and a celebration of God’s word in Scriptures. We believe that holy men and women who have come before us still pray for us and aid us. We call them saints.  Many of them were martyred, and our churches are named for them.  First among the saints is Mary, a virgin who gave birth to the child Jesus, and who is honored as the mother of God and the mother of the Church.

From the beginning of Christianity, the Catholic Church handed on God’s word to each new generation – and defined what it meant to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Through the centuries, it is the Catholic Church that preserved the Bible, as well as many other written works, through its monasteries and libraries. It instituted the university system in order to educate.

We also believe that beauty is a sign of God’s loving presence – and so we have commissioned and preserved some of the world’s greatest art-works. Without the sponsorship of the Church, Michelangelo would never have painted his famous Sistine Chapel nor carved the Pietà.

Today, the Catholic Church is the world’s largest charitable organization; we provide a significant portion of social service needs for Americans. There are nearly 250 Catholic universities and colleges in the United States alone. We also operate this nation’s largest non-public school system, one of those schools is right here in our community.

Mostly, we are over a billion people on every continent who profess and express a faith in Christ that spans two millennia.  We are Catholics.  We will survive this time of quarantine, and soon be back together worshiping our glorious God at Mass again.  Until then, stay safe and have a Blessed Easter Season!

Deacon John  Adapted from  www.dioceseoflansing.org.

 

Deacon’s Corner, April 26, 2020

I remember the first time our son was deployed.  Justin was a young Lieutenant helicopter pilot in the Marines.  And although he had already logged many flight hours under grueling conditions, this was his first combat assignment.  He and Michelle were married about a year.  When it came time to say ‘good-bye’, the whole family stood quietly just looking at each other.  After a minute of silence, Michelle started crying first, then I broke down in tears, and the whole family followed.   It was a loving but painful moment saying, ‘good bye’ not knowing what the future would bring.

We feel pain being separated from loved ones.  That is the price of love.  But Jesus felt the ultimate pain of separation when He paid the price of his love for us on the cross.  Jesus loves us so much that he came into our world as a vulnerable little baby.  He accepted the abuse of the teachers and elders of the law.  He was scorned, humiliated, and brutally beaten by Roman executioners before they nailed him to a cross and ran their warrior’s lance through his side.  Because of his love for us, Jesus suffered and died to be the perfect Passover sacrifice, standing in our place before the Father so we can live.

In the Gospel today, some disciples meet Jesus while walking home to the village of Emmaus after the Passover. Scripture tells us they were “conversing and debating” and “downcast” about what happened to Jesus just a few days before in Jerusalem.  It must have been painful for them – losing their good friend under such horrible circumstances and wondering what the future would bring.

Then, Jesus approaches and engages them in a conversation.  They don’t recognize him, but still invite him to dinner.  After Jesus leaves they realized who he was and said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”  This time, saying “good-bye” was not painful – it was joyful.  And although those disciples may not have understood the big picture yet of Jesus’ Passion, death, and resurrection they were excited and on fire with his love.  And what did they do?  They ran off and told the others!

As we continue celebrating this Easter Season, can we share in those feelings of being on fire with our faith and his love?  Jesus died to give us life.  But, we live today not because Jesus died, but because of His love for us.  Now, like those disciples on the road to Emmaus, our job is to share His love with others – to go out and announce the Gospel of the Lord!

Deacon John

 

Deacon’s Corner, April 19, 2020

In the Gospel today, we hear the story about the disciples hiding together in fear behind locked doors – then encountering the risen Jesus.  They believe, but Thomas will not until he can see Jesus for himself.  But, we can’t be too hard on Thomas.  Because today, Jesus presents us with a life-or-death predicament, and our faith will literally will determine the outcome.  It’s a predicament because none of us can literally see the resurrected Christ – yet our salvation depends wholly on our belief in Him.  Unlike Thomas, we don’t have the option of not believing until we see Jesus walk through the door and greet us. We must believe without seeing.

Jesus said in the Gospel today, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” He doesn’t advocate blind faith—that is, faith without reason or support.  And, neither does He want us to believe because of hearsay.   Jesus knows our belief in Him should be something rigorous.  Something we strive for even though it defies human reasoning.  So, our belief must be a process.  It is the work of praying daily, reading Scripture, practicing works of mercy, receiving the sacraments, loving our neighbors, and letting go to put our trust in God.

Ultimately, the hard work of belief arrives at a paradox:  sight without seeing and death without dying.  This paradox becomes the center of the great Paschal Mystery that we began to understand last week on Easter Sunday.  A mystery where we find joy through our sorrow, comfort through our pain, and new life by dying to our old self.  When that happens, our belief allows us to see that the existence of God is all around us.  We begin to see God in the goodness of His creation – in the very air we breathe, in the soil of the earth, and in His gift of life itself that beats in the hearts of each and every one of us.   Jesus is telling us we do not need more evidence to experience God around us.  What we need a better and deeper vision to see what is already here, right before us.

Unfortunately, we can reject the reality of this Mystery by taking refuge behind the locked doors of our mind, or deep within the internet and Hollywood.  Even so, as Jesus tries to break down those doors, we barricade them shut.   But, when we open the doors, we can see Christ.  We see Him daily in the poor.  We see his wounds in our sufferings and hardships.   We feel His wounds by sticking our hands inside through the radical love and solidarity He wants us to have, and He has for us.  Opening the door to Jesus is not always easy or comfortable.  But, it is part of the process we must go through to believe.

As we hide in isolation and fear of the unknown during the coronavirus pandemic, we can understand the temptation of the disciples to do the same.  But like them, whether we open that door or not, Jesus finds his way in.  He loves us too much to stand outside.

May we pray this week to be like those disciples: open to the Lord in our midst, and helping others to believe.   Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.

Deacon John

 

Deacon’s Corner, April 12, 2020

Today is the first time that Kimberly and I don’t remember going to church on Easter.  And although it is sad that we are all sequestered in our home and cannot attend Mass, we can still take comfort in what Easter really means.

Easter remembers the very foundation of Christianity:  Jesus is raised from the dead and He is God.  Those who believe share in a resurrection to new life.  Today is so significant that we continue to celebrate the Easter Season for the next fifty days until God sends His Advocate to us, the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost.  It was only natural for the very first followers of Jesus to hold this moment sacred, to celebrate and re-experience Jesus had risen and will always be with them.

His death occurred on the most important of all Jewish feasts: the Passover.  His resurrection fulfilled all that the Passover had meant to them as Jews.  It was an exodus, or passage, from the old times and oppression of slavery to spiritual freedom.  Jesus was the Paschal Lamb (Pasch, from Hebrew Pesach, meaning “Passover”) slain and sacrificed to achieve this freedom.  Jesus’ resurrection was the sign of the beginning of a New Covenant with God.  A Covenant which frees us from the slavery of worldly wants, and promises us happiness.  Happiness through spiritual growth from our sufferings, while being content with the blessings He has given us and sharing them with others.

Although we may not be able to celebrate Easter together at Mass, let’s not forget what is Easter all about.  Let’s take some time today to really understand the significance of the day and what it means to our lives.  Because without Easter, Christmas would just be another pagan holiday in December to celebrate the winter solstice.

At the Easter Vigil Mass, the Exsultet decrees “THIS IS THE NIGHT, WHEN CHRIST BROKE THE PRISON BARS OF DEATH, AND ROSE VICTORIOUS FROM THE UNDERWORLD. OUR BIRTH WOULD HAVE BEEN NO GAIN, HAD WE NOT BEEN REDEEMED!”  Easter is about celebrating our Christian roots and what Jesus did for us.

May you have a blessed and joyous Easter Season!

Deacon John

 

Deacon’s Corner, April 5, 2020

Today is Palm Sunday.  If we could be at Mass, we would hear the Passion Story of Jesus.  A story we have heard many times.  A story we can relate to with our own life experiences.  Because, like Jesus, we too can be betrayed and accused.  Beaten down and left to die.  Whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual pain – like Jesus in the Gospel today – we cry out from our cross “My God, my God.  Why have you forsaken me?”

But, as Christians, especially Catholics, we know God understands.  He’s been there.  In fact, he never left.  Every time we worship at Mass, we take part in the Eucharist which makes present the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the Cross.  Just like the freedom and forgiveness the Israelites experienced during their celebration of the Passover; the same salvation the disciples experienced through the death and resurrection of Jesus, are the same and real effects made present for us at each and every Mass.

During Palm Sunday Mass, we experience first-hand that Jesus knows what it’s like to feel pain and fear, to be misunderstood and not accepted.  He knows what it’s like to laugh and cry and grieve. He knows anguish, anger, and unanswered prayer.  Jesus knows what it’s like to carry a cross and fall down.  He knows what it’s like to always be told you are wrong – that we don’t do it that way, don’t try to change things, and say this not that.  He knows what it’s like to fight on when the bad guys are winning; when evil and defeat are everywhere; and injustice, hatred, and rejection are commonplace.  He’s felt the pain of whips and nails, and knows how what it’s like to cry out in frustration “Where are you, God!” He knows all of this, so why would He ever forsake us?

No, God doesn’t forsake us.  He understands us.  But only through our willingness to experience our own passions are we able to even begin to understand why.  Because our passions tell stories of hurt, anger, betrayal, falling down, fear, denial, and needing help to carry our cross.  Knowing all the time that God does not promise to wave a magic wand and make all the hurt go away.  But, he does promise to see us through to the other side.  To die to our old self and rise to a new life.  To be Born Again.  2000 years ago, people didn’t understand yet what that means.  But we do.  And that’s what we learn, not just from the Passion Story of Jesus today, but every time we worship at Mass.

As we carry our crosses of isolation, loneliness, and fear because a microscopic virus threatens the life of everyone on the planet, may we live in the moment to savor our own passions, knowing our cross is not the end of the story.  Today, Palm Sunday, although we may not be at Mass, I encourage you to still read the Passion Story of Jesus Christ.  Take time to give your hurts to God, trust Him to see you through them, and let Him change your life forever.

Deacon John

 

Prayer from Deacon John

Hello to everyone!
Kimberly and I miss you and look forward to the day we are back together with our parish and school families.  Here is something I wanted to share with you from Tuesday’s Liturgy of the Hours Evening Prayer.  It brought me hope at a time of hopelessness, and comfort during this time of fear.  I pray it does for you too.
Psalm 20, “A prayer for the king’s victory”:
 
May the Lord answer in this time of trial; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.
May he send you help from his shrine and give you support from Zion.
May he remember all of your offerings and receive your sacrifice with favor.
 
May he give you your heart’s desire and fulfill everyone of your plans.
May we ring out our joy at your victory and rejoice in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your prayers.
 
I am sure now that the Lord will give victory to the anointed,
will reply from his holy heaven with the mighty victory of his hand.
 
Some trust in chariots and horses, but we in the name of the Lord.
They will collapse and fall, but we shall hold and stand firm.
 
Give victory to the king, O Lord, give answer on the day we call.
The prayer after the Psalm reads:
Lord, you accepted the perfect sacrifice of your Son upon the cross.  Hear us during this time of trouble and protect us by the power of his name, that we who share in his struggle on earth may merit a share in his victory.  God has crowned his Christ with victory!  Amen
 
As we face each day with new uncertainties and sacrifices from the COVID-19 pandemic, may we be thankful for the blessings God has given us, grateful for the families and friends we are isolated from, and mindful of those less fortunate than ourselves.  Peace and blessings to each of you.
Deacon John and Kimberly

Deacon’s Corner, March 29, 2020

With everything essentially shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be a while before we gather again to celebrate Mass on Sunday.   Who would have ever imagined that our Lenten sacrifice would include Mass?  So, as I considered what to write for the bulletin this week, I thought I would spend the next few weeks dusting off some of my old Deacon’s Corners which talk about what the Mass is and why we go to Mass in the first place.  Let’s begin with what Sunday is all about.  It is the Sabbath: The Lord’s Day.

There was a time when Kimberly and I had our Sunday routine down pretty good – Mass in the morning, rush home, quick lunch, do all the yard work and house projects, quit about 6pm, be too tired for dinner, call the parents and kids to see how they’re doing, then get ready for the upcoming week.  One hot Sunday afternoon, we took a break from mowing the lawn.  Across the street we noticed our neighbors.  Mom and Dad were sitting on the front porch.  He was strumming his guitar.  She was reading a book.  The kids were running around the yard playing soccer.  Then, it hit us both at the same time – why don’t we do that?  Why can’t we just relax on Sunday afternoon?  Kimberly and I walked over and talked to our neighbors, then decided to follow their example of setting Sunday aside as a day of rest.  You see, our neighbors were also our very good friends.  And still are.  They are Mormon, and take the Third Commandment quite literally.  They believe in family values and honoring the Sabbath as a solemn day of rest to thank God for their blessings.

Funny thing, so do we.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “The seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord” (2168).  It goes on to say that “God entrusted the Sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant, and set the day apart for the praise of God and his work of creation” (2171)…“If God rested and was refreshed on the seventh day, then we, too, should rest and let others do the same…The Sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite.  It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money” (2172).

Sunday is a day of rest and leisure to nurture our spiritual, family, and social life.  It is a day to avoid unnecessary demands on ourselves and others.  Of course, there are always emergencies, and some people do have to work on Sunday to keep the paycheck coming.  And that’s OK.  But we must always remember, Sunday is the Lord’s Day – the Sabbath.  It is a day to attend Mass and worship our God.  A day to enjoy the world God created for us.  It is a day to do humble works of service for others, as Jesus did.

The word “Sabbath” comes from the Hebrew verb shabbat, meaning “to rest from labor”: the day of rest.  It is first used in the Bible for the seventh day of Creation when God rested (Exodus 16:23).  So, if God rested on the Sabbath, why can’t we?   That’s something to think about when life gets back to normal after the COVID-19 shutdown ends.

May you always enjoy the Sabbath, and have a blessed week!

Deacon John