“Without parables he did not speak to them.” (Mk 4:34)
I have a confession to make. I’m quirky. It’s true. But my guess is that you are quirky too! Why? Because you’re taking the time to read this column, these words—and most likely, to read the Scriptures too. This labels you apart as unusual. Not too many people set aside time for prayer after all.
But your quirkiness doesn’t end there. Do you go to Mass on Sundays? That’s odd. You could be sleeping in, like a lot of other people. Or getting up early to go golfing or shopping. Even if you went to Mass on Saturday, that’s a peculiar way to spend an afternoon off. There are restaurants to visits (if we’re brave enough to dine in) or movies to see and TV shows to watch. But there you go again, gathering with a bunch of other quirky people to sing to God and eat His Body and drink His Blood. What’s wrong with you?
It only get’s worse. Do you forgive people from the heart—or at least try to? Do you try to see God in the people around you? Or how about going into a small booth called the “Confessional” and telling a priest your sins? Who does that anymore?
Of course, you’re not really quirky, you’re only doing what God created you to do: love Him and love your neighbor. But to many people, you are a mystery. And that’s exactly how Jesus wants it. St Mark says that Jesus spoke in riddles or parables to the people around Him. He even mystified his closest disciples! It was all part of a strategy: to provoke His listeners to think more deeply about God and about their lives. Jesus wanted to awaken in them a hunger for God so that they would come and ask Him for more. Then, when they were ready, He could open their hearts to the “…mystery of the kingdom of God” (Mk 4:11).
So I encourage you to continue being quirky. Love. Forgive. Pray. Give. When someone asks why you are doing this, tell them you’re just trying to be like Jesus. Who knows? You may win them over.
Watch the bulletin or visit the website as the new South Shore Parishes weekend Mass times will be announced after it has been reviewed and discussed by the pastoral and finance councils. As you probably had heard, our six churches will be administered by only two priests, effective August 4. Deacon Pat LaPointe will be hired to be the pastoral coordinator between Fr Philip Schumaker and myself. While the new schedule will result in a reduction of Saturday Vigil Masses, the intent of having one Sunday Mass at each of the parishes remains intact—but the starting times may be slightly different. Besides losing Fr Arul, there are three other factors playing a major role in pursuing the Mass time changes: the Sunday Mass dispensation, the long-term effect of the COVID-19 on parishioners and Mass attendance, and the limited use of our senior help-out priests in order to protect their health. Stay tuned!
In God’s Time,