Today is different for us, special for us here at Saint Michael Parish. This weekend, we step out of “ordinary time,” and celebrate our parish feast day.
It is also a special moment when we present to you the annual report for the parish, highlighting what God is doing through the generous stewardship of our time, talent and treasure, the sharing of the gifts that we have received from God and how your generosity transforms lives.
This beautiful and thoughtful document links the transformation of the physical building of our church to the interior transformation of us as Church, the People of God, a holy Temple built of living stones.
Though as a parish we step out of ordinary time, as members of the universal Catholic Church, in a few moments will proclaim the Creed, our faith. In the Creed we profess that God is the creator of all things visible and invisible. We believe in more than just what we can empirically see, touch or measure.
Yes, we believe in angels, pure spirits, invisible to our human eyes yet revealed to us in Sacred Scripture. The Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael are protector, evangelizer and healer sent from God on our behalf.
The present time in which we live is anomalous in human history. Swallowed up by empiricism, scientific rationalism, individualism and self-centered relativism we have as a Western culture lost the capacity to see beyond, to surrender to the possibility of the more, to believe in God.
We are losing our souls, the unfathomable capacity to be who God has created us to be. We have lost a sense of mystery and of yearning for the only One who can satisfy our deepest longings.
The struggle we face as human beings, as spouses and families, as parish and neighborhood communities and is the universal Catholic Church is cosmic in scale.
We are engaged in a spiritual battle for the salvation of souls.
As the Catholic Church, the people of God, this Temple not made by human hands but of living stones, we are commissioned by God to unmask the lie, to battle the great deceiver of humanity and lead others to holiness, to God’s life, to God’s eternal blessings.
Have no doubt about it, we are engaged in a mighty struggle.. We need Saint Michael the Archangel to defend us in this battle against the wickedness and the snares of the devil, of all that seeks to separate us from God and to diminish the dignity of who we are as creatures made in God’s image and likeness and not mere commodities to be aborted, abused, use for economic advantage and euthanized.
In order to enter into this battle, we must surrender in order to win. We must surrender our self–centered will to God’s divine, perfect will. It is only in surrendering all to God, piece by piece, step by step, that together with the Archangels – Michael, Raphael and Gabriel – we will be able to battle, heal and announce God’s good news for the human race and all of creation.
In the next weeks as the renovation of our church comes to a close and we make the transition back, we have asked members of our community to share how Saint Michael Parish has transformed their lives through the lens of our six elements of discipleship.
Please open your hearts now to Jesse and Jamie Oakland and to baby Lucas, a name which means “light bearer.” Thank you.