Feeding Our Souls
This past week we were blessed to hear from Fred LaPuzza with our Restorative Justice and Detention Ministry Office at the Diocese. He shared how lives are being changed by the Gospel and how those lives were dependant on our support through the Pastoral Services Appeal, PSA. Unfortunately, we’re far behind schedule in reaching our annual parish goal of $104,000 and personally, I’d really like to keep my boss, Bishop Vann, happy. Please consider filling out one of the white PSA envelopes in the pews today. The PSA, is a partnership with all 62 parishes in Orange County which provides support to:Catholic Charities of Orange County, scholarships and tuition assistance for Catholic school students, continuing education for faith formation leaders in our parishes and schools, Catholic Restorative Justice and Detention Ministry, Catholic Deaf Community, Priest formation and support (scholarships for seminarians and continuing education for clergy), and Deacon formation and support.
With your help, we reach out to the poor and vulnerable in our community. Catholic Charities alone serves more than 166,000 people in crisis in Orange County each year. As always, thanks so much for your generosity.
Speaking about generosity, did you notice how generous God is in our Sunday scripture readings. God is truly good all the time! In today’s first reading, God generously responds to the complaints of the people he has miraculously freed from slavery, by providing daily rations of quail and manna…. in a desert! He gives them just as much as they need, when they need it, inviting them to trust in him to fulfill every necessity, every day. More than one thousand years later, Jesus explains to the crowd that he is the bread of life, the answer to every need. He is the one who fulfills every necessity, every day, for he is food that endures for eternal life.
We have much in common with both the Israelites who wandered in the desert and with the crowds who were fed by Jesus and later sought him out, looking for more. Whether we live in a bustling city, in a suburb or in the most remote rural area, we all will face deserts in our own lives, difficult times when we seem to be lost or facing impossible challenges.
Jesus reminds us, as he reminded the people of his time that we need to rely, for strength and nourishment, on food that is “imperishable,”food that will feed our souls and bring us eternal life. This is not unlike Saint Paul’s message to the Ephesians, which says they must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds … you should put away the old self … and be renewed in the spirit of your minds. Paul, of course, is speaking not just of how we think, but how we live. Living in the Christian community means celebrating and partaking of the Eucharist, the sacrament which forms and transforms us to live in this world and the next.
As the crowds and the Ephesians did, let us seek Jesus and rely on him when we need anything. For He truly is the one sent by God to bring life to the world, and to help us through the desert journey of this life.
Much love in Christ Jesus!