Lorenzo's Letters

Who are We before God and Humans 2020

By February 26, 2021No Comments

Dear St. Columbkille Family,

I write this communication on the occasion of another anniversary of the terrorist attack in our nation in 2001. Since then, we have seen how much our lives have changed and how many have been affected following the pedophile scandals in our church, the recession, the pandemic and the unfortunate ambition for power and deterioration of democracy as we approach 2020 elections. It is important to remember that the Bible promises blessings for those who follow God, but also describes how followers get sick, suffer, and eventually die. The promised blessings are linked primarily to spiritual health and growth (3 John 2). Faithful followers of God are not immune from pain and suffering, nor the consequences of disasters and chaos. The psalmist observed that good things happen to bad people. ‘I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills … All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning’ (Psalm 73:3–5, 14). People wonder why bad things happen to good people. The Bible’s response is that there has only ever been one good person, and he suffered supremely. Jesus, the son of God and savior, was tortured to death in the most horrific way. We should not be surprised when bad things happen to us, no matter how good we believe we have been. Instead, ‘there is no one who does good, not even one’ (Romans 3:12). We are all on the same moral footing with God, which is why we have no basis for thinking one person is better than another or deserves to suffer more or less than another. This brings us back to the recognition that human choices are involved in many disasters, calamities, anxieties and sufferings. Instead of speculation about these events being God’s judgment on someone or other, they should lead to reflection on the values underlying human decisions. We sense that responsibility lies somewhere, but where? We are confronted with the gross injustices in the world, catastrophe’s, disasters, violence, divisions, confrontations, crimes and wars. Humans want to run the world our way, and God allows us. All these situations are a reminder that this world is not the way God wanted. Adam and Eve’s sin brought judgement that resulted in disease and death, and changed the world. Now the whole of creation groans and decays. The hope of the afterlife is part of what allows Christians to hold on to the promise of a better life after this ‘valley of the shadow of death’ (Psalm 23:4). Even in this life, though, God allows suffering to continue, partly to permit human free will, but also to bring good out of the bad. Even though we may never know the truth of all the events that affect our lives, we can work to bring good from it. This can happen if the exposure of injustice motivates people to work to restore justice, to build back better. It can also happen if it leads people to respond to unfortunate events by helping each other for the good of all. This attitude is reminder to all of us at this historic time of uncertainties because we have been baptized by water and the Spirit; we have been anointed as prophets, priests and kings/Queens; we have been chosen to follow Jesus’s steps; we have been promised that the Holy Spirit will be with us until the end of our lives. No matter how long our journey will be in this world we must remember that we will not be here forever and all that we do, make, produce and perform in this life will not come with us at the end. Our attitude as Catholic should be to persevere living in our Christian values without negotiating them, nor replacing them for ideological positions. We, Christians, by identity are people of peace, dialogue, hope, faith and Love. Let us show our Christian values as we face the tension, the stress, the confusion and even the fear this time bring to us praying for each other in unity and solidarity. At St. Columbkille Parish, we have been trying to remain as an oasis in the desert, as a sign of hope and consolation. As we observe the safety regulations, our Parish have been always open for personal prayer, adoration and meditation, and because we do believe that spirituality is essential in our lives, sacramental services have been offered in public and private. Weekend Masses are: Saturday 3:00pm and 5:00pm and Sunday 9:00am, 11:00am and 5:30pm. Communion under the Portico on Sunday from 12noon to 12:30pm for those who watch the mass on TV (Our diocesan Mass is on Sunday 10:30am on local Fox 4) There is no need to exit your car in the driveway of the Church. Dispensation from obligation to attend Sunday Mass in the Diocese of Venice in Florida is until November 1, 2020. Communal Rosary and Mariam Novena, Saturdays at 8:00am Sacrament of Reconciliation under the Portico (Driveway without exiting your car) from 8:30am to 9:30am. Gospel Forum for Women Tuesdays at 9:00am at the Grotto (outside) pleased, bring you chair and Bible. Men fellowship Group is meeting online using Zoom on Mondays at 7:00pm. More Information call Tom Holland at 508-0668. St Paul School of Evangelization. These classes will be online during pandemic. If you interesting to join this institute please call Dr. Sue Ellen Nolan at 239-222-7653. Blessing of Pets under the Portico: Saturday, October 3 from 10:00am to 10:30am. Do not need to exit your car, in the driveway of the Church. Please, remember to participate on the Census 2020. When you come to church you must remember to bring your face mask and keep it on out of respect to others; practice social distancing when you find a seat and when you come up to receive Holy Communion; use hand sanitizer near to the door once you enter and when you leave the church. Families may stay together and if someone feels sick they should stay home. Your donations and offertory envelopes can be dropped off before or after mass in one of the boxes located throughout the church. Your financial support is very appreciated also by mail or electronically, please, contact Sergio Figueroa, the administrative coordinator if you need help. You can always contact one the clergy by (239) 634-2927 or me lgonzalez@stcolumbkille.com

God Bless you All, and appreciate to pray for clergy,

Fr. Lorenzo