To prepare ourselves to enter into the Eucharist, the Church has provided a Penitential Act which is used for many (but not all) celebrations. Often, one of the invocations is, in part, based upon the Prophet Isaiah (66:19), “You came to gather the nations into the peace of God’s kingdom.” Under scoring a call that is of both for one and for all, we seek that unity around the Lord’s Table where there is no tension or division based upon nationality or language. As we seek pardon for the times when we have less than what the Lord has called us to be, we pray:
To the banquet of your Kingdom, O God of the nations, you have invited people of every race and tongue. May all who are called to a place at your table come to the feast of unending life!
Last weekend in my homily, being reminded that being Christians is not a “spectator sport” but, rather a race that calls us to finish, we were given 7 concrete suggestions (based upon the Sacraments) to not be the “great cloud of witnesses” but also those who are cheered on by the great company of saints to faithfully complete what Christ Jesus has called us to do:
- Support and teach the Baptized.
- Help others understand that their true hungers will only find satisfaction in the Eucharist.
- Continue to empower those who are Confirmed and trust, as young as some may be, that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are within them.
- Walk with those who are in need of Reconciliation and do not banish them.
- Pray with and for those who are sick, bringing them comfort in body, mind and spirit.
- See in those who are ordained a pathway to grace and redemption.
- Encourage those who are joined in marriage, that they may remain joined in marriage.
Even though it will be about 2 weeks before Father Ponce departs, the Second Collection next weekend will be for our Mission in Kambaala, Uganda. I am so very grateful for your loving support of the Mission, the seminarians and of Father Ponce himself!
Congratulations to Richard Ferris and Keith Gonzalez who have been accepted into the Diaconate Formation Process of the Diocese of Orlando. This first year of discernment will help to deepen their commitment to the ministry of the Church, nurture their own spiritual growth, and help them (and their families) for the journey that lies ahead. Richard and Keith are fine men with wonderful families who are deeply involved in the life of Blessed Sacrament parish. We have been blessed with the service of many fine deacons in our community, particularly Deacons Rafael, Fred and Luis, who have made such a positive difference in our parish! I am grateful for their ministries and am very excited about the possibility of Richard and Keith joining their ranks! May Saints Stephen and Lawrence watch over them!
May the week ahead be filled with countless graces and blessings!