Weekly Message Fr. Kubat to St. Cecilia's Parishioners
Welcome to the pastor’s weekly message. Wednesday March 25, the Universal Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The greatest message ever delivered was to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the Archangel Gabriel who said, “Hail full of grace, the Lord is with you (Luke 1:28).” This is the first part of the Hail Mary. Notice that this message was not delivered directly by God to Mary, but through the Archangel Gabriel. Remember when God spoke to Moses in the burning bush? We are told there was an angel in the bush (Exodus 3:2). Let us take note that we are not any different than our Blessed Mother and Moses. There are many subtle messages and inspirations from the Holy Spirit that come to us through our guardian angels.
Notice also that the Archangel Gabriel told Mary, “Do not be afraid (Luke 1:30).” These were the first words spoken to us by St. John Paul II after he was elected pope. Being full of grace, Mary submitted to the will of God and became the Mother of God.
Because of her ‘fiat,’ or yes, we now have access to the grace of God enabling us to carry out the will of God in our lives. We are not called to become mothers of God but spiritual mothers and fathers, spiritually generating children or offspring for the Kingdom of Heaven by our love and holy example. Our guardian angels not only are here to protect us from the wiles of demons but also to help us not be afraid to do God’s will.
During this period where public Masses have been suspended, I have been getting calls from people in the parish to see their sick and dying loved ones and calls from the hospital to do the same. We priests are able to administer the sacraments of confession and the anointing of the sick as well as the apostolic pardon. For those able to swallow, we can bring viaticum which is someone’s last Holy Communion.
A frequent question I am asked in these circumstances is why God allows suffering to happen. God did not create this world the way it now is. It was created beautiful, without suffering and death. After the fall of our first parents, sin and death entered the world. This is why the Son of God took flesh from the Virgin Mary, in order to suffer, shoulder to shoulder with us in order to lead us out of this mess to the place where there is perfect happiness, namely heaven.
Sunday March 29 is the fifth Sunday of Lent. The gospel is about the raising of Lazarus from the dead. This is one of the two instances in the scriptures where Jesus wept. Before raising the dead body of Lazarus to life, he said these consoling words to his sister Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” The question for us is, do we believe this?
In his book, Jesus of Nazareth, Pope Benedict XVI points out that we humans ultimately want one thing, which is life, and life to the fullness. This is only fully fulfilled in the resurrection from the dead on the last day. This is the ultimate point and goal of being a Christian.
During this trying time, please know that we priests are praying for you and your family. Please remember in prayer your brothers and sisters in Christ not only here in the parish but beyond.
Fr. Christopher Kubat, Pastor