This past week we were blessed to revisit the theme of Mercy at the Lenten Mission presented by Fr. Anthony Aarons T.O.R. who was commissioned in 2016 to be a Missionary of Mercy. It was a momentous occasion to relive those compelling invitation of Christ calling us to band together with him to reveal the Merciful Face of the Father to the world. The Hebrew word that describes mercy is Chesed and the King James Version of the Bible translates this as “tender mercy”. Mercy is what God is all about. This is what Jesus invites us to participate in, be that compelling face of the Father of mercy to the world. Jesus beckons us ever so gently to “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36).
That is a mammoth responsibility and yet not without precedence of people who have just done that. We see that in the saints of the past and even now through you, our faithful members, we witness those activities for whenever you stop judging others and whenever you stop condemning others and whenever you choose to forgive people who have offended you even though they deserve condemnation, you are exactly doing what our Lord is inviting us to do: to reveal the merciful face of the Father. And when you give from your heart generously gifts will be given to you. Just imagine the magnitude and generous overflow of the Father’s love: “a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:37-38).
Yes dear friends, this is the time of mercy. This aspect of our Christian life does not end with the Year of Mercy. Mercy continues to be the need of every era. Now it is more than ever. Pope Francis in his letter at the close of the Year of Mercy most emphatically stresses this point: “Each day of our journey is marked by God’s presence. He guides our steps with the power of the grace that the Spirit pours into our hearts to make them capable of loving. It is the time of mercy for each and all, since no one can think that he or she is cut off from God’s closeness and the power of his tender love. It is the time of mercy because those who are weak and vulnerable, distant and alone, ought to feel the presence of brothers and sisters who can help them in their need. It is the time of mercy because the poor should feel that they are regarded with respect and concern by others who have overcome indifference and discover what is essential in life. It is the time of mercy because no sinner can ever tire of asking forgiveness and all can feel the welcoming embrace of the Father.”
Pope Francis encourages us to approach God without fear. “Don’t be afraid to ask God for forgiveness. He never tires of forgiving us. God is pure mercy.” One of the best ways to receive the mercy of God is to go to the throne of mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation. We had a very beautiful celebration of this mercy on the 14th March, Tuesday when we had for the first time two sessions providing opportunity for people who find it hard to drive at night and for people who are at work. We will continue to provide more opportunities during the remaining days of Lent for the celebration of Reconciliation such as during the 40 hours with the Lord and on the Monday of the Holy Week. Please do avail of the opportunities; mark it on your calendar; be deliberate about it. Then you will experience that joy no other experience can possibly give you: to be set right with God.
St. Patrick whose feast we celebrated on the 17th was consumed by Jesus. Christ was everything to him. His breastplate reads:
Christ be with me, Christ within me
Christ behind me, Christ before me
Christ beside me, Christ to win me
Christ to comfort me and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger
Christ in hearts of all that love me
Christ in mouth of friend or stranger.
On another short note:
Many of you have been inquiring about Fr. Brad as you didn’t get to see him in the past one week. I thought it would be appropriate at this time to share with you some information. Fr. Brad had been admitted to the hospital as he has been experiencing some back pain. The doctors have looked at it and after running several tests have suggested some physical therapies. He is in good cheer and is doing very well. The doctors have suggested rest and therefore no visitors or phone calls at this time.
We sent an email about Fr. Brad to those in the parish that we have email addresses for. If you did not receive the email, please check your spam or junk mail folder. If there is no notice there please check your settings that you are accepting emails from
. When there is a parish wide email it usually comes with this email. However, you also may need to add Bob Birmingham (
) or Laura Vickers (
). Bob is our Director of Faith Formation and Laura is our coordinator for youth ministry. They also send out emails to large groups of parents. One final note is those with email address ending in cfl.rr.com are sometimes not deliverable, again we believe it is due to your settings because some get through and others don’t.
5655 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940Office Hours: M-F 8:30am - 4:00pm
Phone: (321)637-9650Fax: (321)637-9651