Be welcomed. Be healed. Belong.

Browsing This Week.

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Missionaries remind us that the Church is bigger than our parish. They remind us that we are all receivers of God’s grace and that it is a gift to us given by God, simply because he loves us. 
 
Scenes in previous Sunday Gospel readings taught us that God’s kingdom is all around us and growing and that there is value in searching for it and working toward it. Today’s Gospel challenges us to trust that God is with us in all things but that our part must be played also. I have found that missionaries are people who depend on God’s plan and generosity wherever they are working. I have been high in the Andes Mountains of Peru witnessing missionary priests building roads, radio stations, and solar farms as a means to evangelize [MM1]. I know a missionary from Boston who flew to Lima carrying a car bumper (in the cargo hold, of course, too big for carry-on). This, too, was a necessary part of evangelizing — helping to repair a vehicle in order to protect a driver in case of an accident. 
 
Trust is a large part of the lives of missionaries and those who accompany them. In one country, a missionary and I were driving along a road before turning into a river and crossing it with water almost covering the vehicle’s wheels. This was the safest route to the next piece of dry land on our way to our destination up in the hills. Finally, among the oddest experiences I had was seeing elephants just outside the hotel where I was staying in Africa. Five of them had “escaped” their game reserve to eat mangoes from a tree just outside of the compound at the entrance gate. After they had their dessert, they walked back into the reserve and closed the gate! I am giving these examples (and I have a lot more) because a missionary is coming to speak to us today, and he trusts, like Peter, that you will help him “walk on water” — not literally, of course, but to help him do something extraordinary for the people that he works with. Your assistance to him might help in all kinds of ways that only God knows. 
 
I have helped to build schools and wells in Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia. I have helped to build churches in the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ghana. In all of these, the prospects for success were minimal. However, God invited me and others out of the boat to walk on water (i.e., to do something considered impossible). My hope now is that one day I will meet a person from one of those countries who has immigrated or is here studying because we helped them to get out of their boat. I hope Fr. Carl’s appeal will help you to trust that God calls us, through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, to do something daring, too. 
 
I am writing this letter a little early as I will not be here but will be in Maine for a vacation. (I hope they let me in.) It has been a turbulent year, and I will be happy to relax and read for a while. 
 
Peace,
Father Murray 

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