Now that I have no social life due to the virus, I've started hiking again. I love being out in the woods, and these days, the quiet and beauty of nature feel so therapeutic to me. My first time out this summer, I marveled at everything I saw - lush trees, the homey smell of pine, the sound of the river running, the chirps of chipmunks, and birds warning each other of my presence. I was really overwhelmed by the beauty around me.
Then, I got a little lost. Just a little... I ended up taking an extra loop across a field and into another part of the forest and started to get a little tired, and a little anxious. It wasn't that long, my time off the main trail, but I noticed that the more lost I felt, the more narrow my focus became. I stopped noticing the beauty, stopped hearing the sounds around me, and started to look only at the trail just in front of me. Once I got my bearings and knew where I was again, I started to widen my view, to relax and see the beauty again. Of course, the world in that side-loop was probably really beautiful, but I didn't have the bandwidth to take it in.
I think this happens to all of us and may be happening to all of us right now, in the face of the climate we are in right now. Before this pandemic hit, our parish was dreaming of being a place of welcome and healing, a mission that God seems to keep making clear to us as a body. When we were asked to shut our buildings, we naturally had to narrow our view to handle the path that was just ahead of us- a path that has seemed to change from week to week, day to day. And of course, this time of narrow focus continues- we're not out of the woods yet (sorry). But I want us to remember that the beauty is still here, our mission continues, and we do not stop walking toward God's dream for us.
We wash our hands, put on our masks, attend Mass as we're comfortable (online, or in the parking lot), check on each other, support the parish with our donations, and with our prayers, and we keep walking. Thank you, MQOA, for walking this path together!
We're so excited to be able to continue Drive-In Mass this Sunday. If you'd like to join us for Mass this Sunday, please register your family. Please note that if it is rainy or too hot (over 80F), we will not hold outdoor Masses. You can check our Facebook page for updates on the 9:30 AM Mass by 8:00 AM on Sunday, and updates on our 12:00 Spanish Mass by 9:30 AM on Sunday.
We'll continue to offer our weekend Online Mass, as well, and will continue our regular schedule of offerings until we're ready to make changes safely and prayerfully. The Cardinal's dispensation from the Sunday Mass obligation continues for everyone, even if Masses are being offered in churches in their area.
6:00 PM Sunday join us for our new night of prayer, praise and connection called Something More. It's less like Mass and more like a combination of coffee/donuts and Alpha nights.
Meeting ID: 889 0982 7026 Password: 235802