A Message from Father William

God the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, Saint Paul tells us this Sunday (Romans 8:26-27). Saint Paul teaches us about prayer, that the Holy Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness, that the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings, according to God’s will. When we pray, most of us readily take up one form of prayer called petition or supplication. We tend to do well in asking God for His help, which is a good thing to do as we show our trust in, reliance on God. We pray for: His healing presence, grace and protection for our family members; an end to the killing of preborn children; an end to the pandemic; peace in the world; politicians to protect U.S. citizens from radical Marxist mobs running the streets of our cities; all our brothers and sisters in law enforcement to get the support and reform they need; God’s protection for all who serve in our U.S. Armed Forces and all first responders; all the tyrannical anarchist evil-doers to be stopped from killing people, destroying statues, desecrating and burning churches, and looting stores and destroying property; for people’s conversion. There seems to be no end to our needs, and no lack of confidence that God hears us, as God’s answers include: “yes” or “no” or “Not right now, I have a better idea.” Yes, petitions are a good way to pray, as God loves to pour out His blessings in response to our petitions, according to His Divine will.

Yet there are other forms of prayer that are just as valuable and necessary to our spiritual lives: prayers that listen for God’s wisdom and revelation. Saint Paul refers to these other forms of prayer today, where the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, when we might silently listen to God in adoration, contrition and thanksgiving, and not be so focused on our petitions (Romans 8). This Sunday (Wisdom 12:13-19 and Psalm 86), we’re reminded to pray in adoration of God and seek His mercy. And in Matthew 13:24-43 this Sunday, Jesus once again uses parables and analogies to teach the crowd how to understand the Kingdom of God – as He teaches and announces “what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 13:35). What He requires from us, in response, is that we listen to Him and do His will.

Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus unfolds the truths of the Gospel to each one of us, just as He has done for billions of believers throughout the centuries. He helps us to understand the things of God so that we can witness to His Kingdom more fully each day and bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit in this world: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, chastity
(Galatians 5; Catechism of the Catholic Church 1832).

When we attend Mass, may we let God the Holy Spirit come to the aid of our spiritual weakness. As we listen to the Scripture readings in the Liturgy of the Word (the first half of Mass), may we listen to the Holy Spirit as He strengthens us to proclaim God’s Kingdom. During the second half of Mass (the Liturgy of the Eucharist), may we listen to Him with the ear of our heart as He gives us Himself. May we listen to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in every moment of our life, allowing Him to sanctify our daily words and deeds, in our love for God and neighbor. In these dark and troubled times, please know that I pray for you and all our families, especially at Mass, that we keep doing well as Christian witnesses, doing our best to listen to God and do His will, in our love of God and love of neighbor, living in our words and deeds the virtues of faith, hope and love.

With peace and prayers in Christ,
Fr. William Vernon