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A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

When I read “a thorn in the flesh” as mentioned by St. Paul in the second reading, I think back to my childhood. For myself and children of my young age in India at that time, had no shoes or sandals mostly due to poverty. I was lucky that my Dad gave me a pair of flipflops but with the strict instructions that they were to be used only when I went to the school and church. Shoes usually lasted for 2 years minimum. I remember that I could never keep that promise, most often because the shoes were stolen by other kids. Once we arrived at school or church, the custom demanded that we remove our shoes, sandals or flipflops. Most of the time at these places, I was always on high alert to watch for my flipflops and to also avoid any trouble with them at home. But things have changed these days. Schools allow flipflops, sandals and shoes to be worn all the time in the classroom. An interesting fact to mention is that I only acquired my first new pair of formal shoes when I visited the United States at the age of 32!

I had many painful experiences while walking barefoot stepping on thorns. Sometimes the thorns were so deep that you could not clip them out easily. In such situations, friends would attempt to expose the spot with a sharp needle, fill it with a sea salt crystal and spark it with a small flame in order to get it out. This was a painful event! I remember during the hot summer, my friends and I loved to make an adventure out of picking Elanthai Pazham (Ziziphus jujuba), which is a type of a delicious berry ironically found in those same thorny bushes. But it was worth the risk getting hurt!

In the first reading as well as gospel, we find such thorns. Prophet Ezekiel says they are a rebellion house, yet I am sent as prophet to them! In the Gospel, people of his native place are skeptical and critical on Jesus and yet he still cures some of them. The Christian faith is based on such sufferings. God allows some thorns in our flesh! As Paul says “when I am weak then I am strong” because he was able to hear the voice of God. “My grace is sufficient for you, the power is made perfect in weakness”. Our gratitude to God makes our life move forward. Please reflect on a personal “thorn” in the flesh that you or your family undergoes and listen to the voice of God; “My grace is sufficient for you”, God bless.

We wholeheartedly want to thank Fr. Simon Dao, who served our parish for the last four years, particularly taking care of pastoral needs of the Vietnamese community. We wish him all the best and bless him with our prayers that he enjoys his next ministry journey. Please stop by the Parish Life Center this weekend after Masses to greet and thank him.

We welcome Fr. Joseph Nhan as our new vicar to cover the pastoral needs of the Vietnamese and our parish community. We are excited to learn more about him! Welcome Fr. Joseph Nhan!

God Bless, Fr. Jay Raju

  • Reading 1: Ezekiel 2:2-5
  • Reading 11: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
  • Gospel: Mark 6:1-6