Voices of Faith

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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Dear Friends:

In light of almost constant stories in the news about acts of violence and terrorism, natural disasters and accidents, it is a great consolation to hear the comforting promise of Jesus in today’s Gospel, “Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:30—31) The prophet Jeremiah experienced constant hardship, but he persevered because he trusted that God would protect him. It is not that we are shielded from anything that might harm us, but that we have a sense of purpose that enables us to endure trials, to take on the difficult tasks of discipleship, and to offer ourselves to the Lord no matter the cost. At the same time, we do know and believe that God provides for what we truly need, and so we pray today with the Psalmist, “Lord, in your great love, answer me.” (Psalm 69:14)

This weekend we welcome back to the parish our former seminarian intern John Martinez, who was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Baltimore on May 27. Deacon John will assist and preach at the 9 a.m. Mass this weekend. John is preparing for his final year of studies and formation at St. Mary’s Seminary, and, God willing, will be ordained a priest next June. It is an encouragement to witness John’s joyful enthusiasm as he offers himself in service in answer to the Lord’s call. A vocation to the priesthood or religious life, just as the vocation of marriage, must be approached with joy and love. Only in love can one give one’s life for another person, and when there is love— for God or for your spouse— sacrifice becomes a joyful offering. Let us pray for Deacon John, for Tyler Kline (who, God willing, will be ordained a deacon next year) and for all the seminarians who have been serving here at Saint Joseph, and let us pray for all who hear God’s call to service in the Church to be generous and joyful to answer the call. And we pray for the same joyful love for married couples as they offer their lives for each other.

This week our office staff welcomes Maureen Roche, who becomes our new Communications Associate. Maureen is a graphic designer, having worked as an art teacher and as a graphic designer in public relations and development at several Catholic schools in the Archdiocese. Maureen will be responsible for layout and design of the bulletin and other print publicity as well as our social media and digital media such as the parish website. Over the next few months we will be developing and launching an updated website to help us spread the good news and communicate about the parish more effectively. This week we will also welcome Fr. Sam Young as our part–time Associate Pastor. Fr. Sam will serve primarily in health care ministry at GBMC and Gilchrist Hospice, but he will also be involved here at Saint Joseph. He will introduce himself as he begins his ministry here next weekend.

God’s peace to you this week,

Fr. Rick