Fr. Stan’s Article
At the base of my chalice there is an inlay depicting five loaves of bread and two fish. The design reflects the elements of the miracle we hear about in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew. Jesus feeds the multitude with simple gifts just as He feeds us with His Body and Blood at Mass. In the same way that God prepared a banquet for those returning from the exile of Babylon in the reading from Isaiah, so God cares for us on our journey toward our heavenly home.
The multiplication of loaves and fish is a miracle that touches on a basic human condition, hunger. The people following Jesus around the Sea of Galilee had heard him teach about the kingdom of God and had seen Him cure the sick; but they needed to eat. It’s hard to focus on spiritual realities when you are hungry. Since there was so little to work with, the apostles wanted to send everyone home to fend for themselves. But Jesus involved them in His miracle. What they gave completely and wholehearted into His hands would not only be enough to feed everyone, but would fill twelve baskets of left-overs.
Where Jesus is, there is always abundance. He teaches that those who give will always receive; and unless we give, we will wind up losing the little we have. This rule of charity is counter-intuitive. The world tells us to hold on tight to what we have; that the pie is small and we have to fight for our piece; or that we have to grab what we can because there’s not enough to go around. Worldly living traps us in our possessions which can take up all of our time and energy. We don’t see the needs of others or even our own need to give. Tithing, offering a portion of our blessings in thanksgiving for our blessings, is the antidote to the virus of materialism and selfishness. Jesus does miracles with what we place in His hands.
While our building remains closed, we are celebrating Sacraments. We follow various protocols for Sunday Mass and distribute drive-through communion following our live-streamed Mass on Saturdays. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament continues outside under the portico on Thursdays from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM and the Sacrament of Reconciliation is available from 3:00 PM to 3:30 PM (also outside under the portico) on Saturdays. Arrangements for funerals and weddings can be made while we follow the protocols for social distancing. It’s important to make a reservation for Sunday Mass each week due to our limits on space. Since our office is closed, please leave a message and someone will get back to you shortly. We are concerned for the health of our parishioners and staff members. Your cooperation and understanding will keep all of us safe when worshipping or participating in our limited parish activities.
The Catholic Services Appeal that is usually held in May has been moved to September. You will be receiving information not only from our parish but also directly from the Archdiocese of Detroit who will administer the reception of donations. Since donations can easily be made on-line, this will be the suggested way to make your donation in this year of the pandemic. My thanks to Kevin McMahon and the Stewardship Commission for chairing this year’s CSA drive for St. Mary’s. Thank you in advance for your participation and generosity.
Peace and joy,
Fr. Stan Ulman