This weekend is a special time for all of us as we come together to re-open our church for Eucharist after four months. We are so delighted to see our community coming back (with caution and safety) to be together to worship, pray and celebrate our fellowship.
The world has experienced (and continues to do so) events that have made us all think about our life more deeply. The COVID-19 has shaken our human existence all over the globe and caused a lot of damage to life. Many nations and families have experienced great sadness and sorrow as loved ones have lost family members. There are many who could not be close to their families in their last moments and could not even attend the short burial services. This is a great tragedy for all. Besides the COVID-19, we also suffered the virus of Racism and discrimination and still continue to see its effects. There is much fear among people about being united. Our country is divided so deeply that we are unable to see God’s hand in our world and in our lives. Recently, I came across this saying from Isa Upanishad, Hindu Scriptures: “Who sees all beings in his own self, and his own self in all beings, loses all fear”. There is so much we need to work together on and renew our spirits and walk in the way God is leading us all to Jesus.
The only way to come out of these challenges and tragedies is to realize we are not alone. God is with us TODAY and EVERY DAY. While it is hard to think of God, and the gift of love amidst these trials, we know that our hearts are made for God, and we do possess great strength and perseverance. We need to become aware of our belonging to God and each other. Our Church Community is our spiritual home. It is during these testing and anxious times our togetherness can help us to cope with life and all that is burdensome. When we are together, we become stronger. Let us come and celebrate our faith and friendship. Let us love one another and seek God’s presence in every person.
Once again, a warm welcome back to all of you as we come to church. I really missed each and every one of you. It was hard to be alone and not minister to you. The first couple of months were ok, but then I felt more, the pain of not seeing you. Seeing the empty church and the empty parking lot every day is not a happy thing. I can’t wait to see you all. Let’s pray for each other and for the whole world.
Fr. Joji Thanugundla