Welcome to Guardian Angels
Dear Friends and Families of Guardian Angels Parish,
Along with your parish staff and council leaders, I wish you all a table of bounty this Thanksgiving. God has so richly blessed us with every good thing. At a 9 am Mass this Thanksgiving Day you will have an opportunity to return to the Lord Jesus in prayer and song with your personal and prayerful thanks. Make Mass a part of your family rituals on Thanksgiving.
I am very thankful for you parishioners. I deeply appreciate the care you extend to me, and I hope to respond to your care with the best pastoral care and leadership that I can return to you. I’m just thankful to be here, although I must say that this easing into retirement has not slowed me down as I thought that it would.
We are not only a growing parish, but the added planning for a new church is very exciting work. I pray every day that this is truly what God wants for this share of the vineyard: a new church out of which we can offer even more services to the local community.
I am also thankful for the more that 80 adults who offer their time and talent in one leadership role or ministry in the parish. Without them none of this would be happening. It’s such a pleasure and honor to work with them.
The prophet Ezekiel in our first reading portrays God as the good shepherd of His people. God’s attention is given to the lost, the stray, the injured, the sick; as for the “sleek and the strong”, they will be destroyed. The sleek and the strong make a claim that they no longer need God; they are sufficient onto themselves. This is a current cultural sentiment today. People think they’ve progressed to the point where they no longer need God, when in fact we need God more than ever today. Human arrogance that thinks to control the universe is largely instead shamelessly and greedily wrecking the patrimony of the natural and human world.
On top of that, one of the arguments people use about God has two sides like a coin. On the one side is the sentiment that science is on the verge of a break through that will answer all our problems, which means God is out of the picture. Granted that many conveniences and successes result from science, at the same time we are confronted with the fact that much of science is dedicated to the production of arms, much often sophisticated. Wallowing in all the technology available doesn’t seem to contribute authentically to human happiness. People don’t get how God is acting in human history, in their lives, because they see so much suffering around them. Well, it is not caused by God, but rather the result of human activity; we don’t like to think of this or admit it.
On the other side of this coin, is the very real fact that the Church in the modern world appears to be horribly flawed, as we read about one scandal after the other, and people see a Church deeply divided into “liberals and conservatives”, language borrowed from our political lives, which I find odious and bankrupt. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.
One of the things I’m most thankful for is the peace and unity of Guardian Angels parish right now. This is the fruit of hospitality. Please note that I did not say uniformity. Unity and uniformity are two very different things.
The key verse of all this Sunday’s readings is I Corinthians 15, 28. The word “subjected” is used three times in one sentence. This has more the sense of bringing things to the original and divine order that permeates the universe because of God’s rule. It is the opposite of the disorder we experience in a “shattered world.” This order is remembered from the Garden of Eden and envisioned by the prophets as the final heavenly court scene of the wedding of heaven and earth. This ordering force of God is the final and ultimate reconciliation of all things in God. This is our greatest hope.
Please read the rest of the bulletin; next weekend Advent begins already and Christmas approaches. God give us the grace and hospitality of heart to welcome the Lord Jesus when he comes
Fr Alan Hartway, CPPS