Tuesday, April 16, 2024

God's Grace

Dear Parishioners,

God’s Grace is truly amazing to me. There are many ways of thinking about how God works in our lives. A realization of His life active and present in us is itself a gift.

I regularly see God at work during the ordinary experiences of my priestly ministry. Especially during Lent, on First Fridays and First Saturdays, and on many other occasions during the year, I have witnessed God bring forgiveness and healing to repentant sinners who were contrite and seeking God’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance. Christ was present to them. Whenever I go to the hospital or do a home visitation to offer the Anointing of the Sick to someone who is sick or dying, Christ is again present there bringing spiritual comfort, healing and forgiveness. When I go into the chapel and witness numerous parishioners spending time adoring Christ in the Blessed Sacrament after daily Mass, indeed believing in His true Eucharistic Presence, I see Christ with His people. I could go on and on with such examples.

If you look around, Christ continues to be present and to work among His people. He is true to His promise: . . . “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:20) He was there at the wedding I witnessed last week. He is at each Mass that I celebrate, whether publicly or in private. He is here as I pray with or for someone who asks for my prayers. He will be here during Sunday’s baptism. He is even there each time I have to face suffering and death.

People will sometimes tell me that they don’t believe in God or that He doesn’t seem real to them. Why does God’s presence seem so real and obvious to me? It’s not that I am some mystic or spiritual guru. I am just an ordinary person, an unworthy sinner like the rest of humanity called by God and graced with the gift of ordination despite my own unworthiness.

As you continue your spiritual journey during this Easter season, why not make a conscious effort to look for and to be attentive to God’s Grace working in your life and in the lives of those around you? He is here with us in the poor, the suffering, the dying, the lonely, the young child, and the elderly. He is present in obvious ways and when we least expect it. He is present in the big events of life and in those quiet moments speaking to the depths of our hearts when we are alone in our inner room.

If you have a hard time perceiving Him, ask Him directly to remove any spiritual blindness from which you appear to be suffering. Fidelity to daily prayer is so essential in forming a relationship with Christ. A thorough sacramental confession can be the quickest and most direct way to experience His presence as healing, forgiveness and mercy enter into your life. And, of course, be aware that Christ is really and truly present (Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity) in the Holy Eucharist as the priest offers the Mass.

He is here with us—all around us!

Don’t miss Him.

Fr. Ed Namiotka


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