In the parish, summer is usually a time when things slow down. We publish the bulletin every other week. School is on vacation, and catechetics are over until the fall. People take holidays. I find it appropriate that the Church gives us the story of Martha and Mary in this weekend’s gospel passage. Jesus reminds us of the importance of sitting at his feet and listening to what he says. When we are distracted by our many tasks and obligations, it is hard to hear Jesus’ words to us, whether those be words of consolation and encouragement, or challenges to live our faith.
When we hear these beautiful words about Mary, it can be easy to criticize Martha for being so busy. Yet many of us have many duties, and can’t just let everything go. So what do we do? I think the key is when Jesus tells Martha that she is “worried and distracted by many things”. I may have to do a lot. My role as your pastor, and now with St. Alphonsus as well, sets many tasks and obligations before me. I think I have three basic choices on how to deal with them: I can absolve myself of my duties by saying that the most important thing I have to do is pray, and the rest will work itself out; I can keep myself constantly running, worrying, and fretting, and not make time for prayer, rest, or play; or, thirdly, I can ensure that in the midst of my many tasks and obligations I carve out a time for prayer and meditation, for rest, and even for play. I am convinced that this third option is the best. It allows me to fulfill my duties, as Abraham fulfilled the duties of hospitality in the first reading, and still sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did. That, I hope, is the key: I can work hard, I can have many tasks, yet one of the primary ones is to spend time with Jesus. Then the rest can be done without worry and distraction.
The Pastoral Team recognizes that we must be able to pace ourselves and maintain balance; I ask that you pray that all of us who minister in the community may do this. With this in mind, the Finance Committee approved increasing the position of Coordinator of Youth Ministry to full time. We have realized that it is not realistic to expect anyone to accomplish everything we want done with part time hours. In her own discernment, Melissa, our present CYM, has chosen another path. The work she has done in youth and family ministry has been instrumental in our visioning for the future. Our seasonal Family Festivals and other activities she coordinates have been a real gift to the parish. I invite you to join me in thanking Melissa for her service and dedication, and praying for her as she focuses her talent and efforts elsewhere. I am deeply grateful to her for all she has contributed over the past two years. She will be greatly missed. As we move forward with a focus on intentional missionary discipleship, we are looking for a full time CYM to be a part of the parish Pastoral Team, along with much involvement from within the parish community to support a vibrant youth and family ministry here at Assumption.
Lastly, AA Roofing has begun installing the copper shingles! 350 of them have your names written on the back. More will be added later. There are areas that won’t be roofed until Phase 3, so we still have time for you to purchase one with your name or in honour of a loved one. We will also have a book with all the names listed, and a photo is being taken of each shingle with the name inscribed. Pray for the successful completion of this project.