Dear Parishioners,

As Jesus reiterates to his disciples the coming Passion and Resurrection (Mark 9:30-37), their lack of understanding leads them to silence. Breaking the silence amongst themselves, apart from the Lord Jesus, the disciples lead engaged in an argument as to who was the “greatest.” When asked “what” they were arguing about by Jesus, the disciples once again became silent. Jesus nuances the word “great” into the word “first.” He tells them that to be first one must place themselves as last and become the servant of all! Jesus then embraces a child and challenges the disciples by telling them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

That we may embrace a renewed sense of innocence and service, we pray:

O God, protector of the poor and defender of the just, in your kingdom the last become first, the gentle are strong, and the lowly exalted. Give us wisdom from above, that we may find in your servant Jesus the pattern of true discipleship and the grace to persevere in following him.

Many of you may have heard that Father Cromwell, who served as an associate pastor here for about 8 years and who became Pastor at St. Joseph Church in Winter Haven five years ago, has recently retired. We wish him well in what we hope will be many years filled with health and happiness! I have also invited Father Cromwell to be with us several days during the week so that he has a loving community to be a part of! I think that we will give him the special title of “Retired Senior Associate!” I look forward to having him with us once again.

May the week ahead be filled with every grace and blessing!

Fr. Bob


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