This week Father Bill reflects on The Holy Pentecost Icon.
My dear parishioners,
Gratus is an old Latin word which means “to be pleasing.” This word is the root of our word “grateful” or “gratefulness.” To be grateful is to be appreciative of kindness and benefits received. Traditionally, acts of loving kindness are met with an attitude of gratefulness by the receiver.
Many years ago, I was eating in a Chinese restaurant. At the end of the meal, I received the bill which was accompanied by the customary fortune cookie. When I opened the cookie and read the fortune I was momentarily dumbfounded. It took me a moment to absorb the message which was both simple and profound. The fortune said, “A truly poor person is not the one who has little, but the one who wants more.” Being grateful, then, is being pleased and thankful for the gifts we have received and for the kindnesses shown to us by others.
As God’s children, we are called to treasure the gifts that we receive in this life. As good stewards of those gifts, we are called to accept gifts gratefully, treasure them, use them as needed and then share these gifts with others. This is a sign of a good steward of what we have been freely given by the Creator in this life.
I suggest that “Thank you” should be the words on our lips when we wake up in the morning and when we go to bed at night. It is so easy to take for granted the many treasures in our lives, whether they be people or things. Always wanting more is a sign of being ungrateful and will eventually lead to misery.
During these days of the Coronavirus pandemic, we might be inclined to be resentful for all the activities we cannot do. However, we would do well to consciously adopt an attitude of gratefulness for all that we have received. Granted there are people who have more than we do, but then there are people who have less. Sadly, some people no longer have life because of the virus. We should then be good stewards of the gifts we have received and consider them true blessings and be grateful for them.
May 28, 2020
Father Bill Moisant reflects on the Baptism of The Lord Icon at Resurrection Catholic Parish.
My dear Parishioners,
On March 19, 2020, the Senate introduced the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” aka the CARES Act. It was subsequently signed by President Trump on March 27, 2020. This bill created a $2 trillion economic relief package for the purpose of protecting the American people from public health and economics impacts of COVID-19.
Through the attentiveness and persistence of our Business Manager, Maya Bashoury, our parish successfully secured a CARES loan of $115,500, effective May 4, 2020. This money [known as the Payroll Protection Program (PPP)] will be used to cover the salaries, wages and benefits of our parish and preschool staff as well as rent and utilities until the end of June. When the shutdown occurred in Oregon on March 23, 2020, my commitment to our parish and preschool staff was that they would not be laid off. As pastor, I thought that as a parish we owed them some financial security during this time of great uncertainty. In the meantime all of our staff have carried out their jobs as best they could using remote communications and providing the children, teens and adults with the learning experiences and supplies that they need. Our commitment to our preschool families was that no child would need to leave the program simply because a family member was suddenly unemployed. We told them that all the children could finish out the school year together regardless of the COVID-19 impact on their families.
Receiving this loan from the Federal Government is a huge help to our parish budget for the months of May and June. I do want to emphasis, though, that after June, we are on our own. Therefore, I strongly recommend that we all continue the ongoing support of our parish. We all have much to do in serving our parishioners and meeting their needs for catechesis and spiritual growth during these trying times. I would like to remind you that we continue to live stream our Sunday Mass at 11:00 am and also a daily Mass on Wednesday at Noon. I invite you to join us.
I ask God’s blessings on all of you. I know that remaining at home is hard, especially for the children. As this Pandemic moves through our society as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1Peter 5:8), I ask that you stay safe, follow the leadership given us by the medical community and wait for better days. They will come, I do believe, but this whole situation will take longer to safely resolve that we had hoped.
AMDG (Ad maiorem Dei gloriam “For the greater glory of God”)*
*This closing was typically used by St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, at the end of his correspondence.
In this week’s Homily, Father Bill encourages everyone to take part in Resurrection’s Food Distribution Program, part of the the Archdiocese of Portland’s participation in the USDA Farms to Families program.