This week, we just passed the mid-point of summer, so I might as well say it, “Spoiler alert! Pretty soon it will snow!” Seriously, although the temperatures and humidity are high, this a great time of year to get outside and enjoy. If you are a gardener, by now your vegetable and flower gardens should be in full bloom. I myself, have a vegetable garden on the farm and am currently enjoying my home-grown lettuce, beans, kohlrabi, beats, onions, potatoes, cucumbers, and basil for pesto. My water melon and tomatoes are still not ready yet. The dry weather has slowed things down a bit.
As with anything when gardening, so often nature produces so much and all at once, that it’s hard to keep up. God is truly generous with us! This said, one thing I enjoy is sharing my surplus with our staff which they truly appreciate. It should strike us as a real miracle that all a person has to do is plant a seed in the ground, make sure it has sun and moisture and over the course of time, it simply grows: first the blade, then the flower and ear, then the fruit! Jesus also used this image in one of his parables.
You don’t have to know the chemistry and biology of a plant to enjoy its yield, you just have to provide it with the right environment. Seems to me that this is also true for the Kingdom of God. We may not understand completely how God works or how Jesus is guiding us, we just have to provide the right environment and God’s presence in and around us will grow.
With Covid-19, this obviously can be a challenge. Although, I am impressed with the number of people returning to our regularly scheduled weekly and weekend Masses, I know there are also many of those who (out of precaution and concern) are still not able to return. These same people continue to feel the pain of not being able to celebrate with others and receive our Eucharistic Lord. Know that your absence is felt, yet we understand your hesitancy despite the protocols for masks, hand sanitizer, etc. Our prayers are with you.
Returning to attendance at Mass has to be a personal choice based on one’s own health and personal risks. This said, just like gardening, it’s still important to stay connected to God and our Catholic Faith as best we can, just as it is important for garden flowers and plants to stay connected to the earth. No matter where a person is we need to feed our faith, and so there are a variety of ways to do this. I encourage everyone to continue to pray, to read, to come to Mass or watch Mass on video and to check out our ACC website at: taocatholic.org. On our website you can read the latest bulletin, see the newest posts and also view some of our services, and in this way remain connected.
Our new ACC Mass schedule seems to be going well. It’s great to see members of our ACC parishes going back and forth and attending the service that works best within their schedule. As time goes on our ACC Committee will continue to evaluate our new schedule and hopefully have
a “Parish Hall” meeting one day to receive more feedback. In the meantime, our hope is that people will slowly adjust. So, here’s to these hot, summer days as we strive to stay grounded in the Lord, connected to our Catholic Faith, and continue to grow! Let us remain: “Together as One” in the Lord!
-- Fr. LeRoy Scheierl