Fr. Michael Ume Messages
August 12, 2018
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
I give thanks to God for my first month in Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. It is a privilege to be here. It is truly a great privilege to minister in this lovely and Gospel filled
environment. Beginning from July 1st of this year, when I arrived here, I felt welcomed. It is more than a month since I arrived, people are still saying to me, “WELCOME TO OUR PARISH.” I love the “to our parish” part of the greeting because it means people take ownership of the parish and see it as home. I am very grateful to you for your hospitality. The purpose of this write up is to THANK YOU BECAUSE YOU’VE BEEN THOUGHTFUL AND KIND. May you be blessed for the kindness you’ve shown me. It is said that a kind deed is like water for a flower, it makes the heart bloom. Thanks for planting a garden in my heart.
With regard to heart, on Thursday, July 26, I met with leaders of the following associations: The Society of St. Vincent De Paul, the Knights of Columbus, the Boy and Girl Scouts, the Senior Citizens Group, the Eucharistic Ministers to the Homebound, the Visitation Ministry, the Young Adults, the Habitat for Humanity, and Friends-in-Deed. These are the groups in our parish that minister to our parishioners directly. They gave me a glimpse into the heart or conscience of the parish. In that meeting, I heard how hard different groups work to help their fellow parishioners. The Senior Citizens, among other things, make a white stole for every child that is baptized in this parish. That is incredible! I am not able to enumerate all the beautiful stories I heard in that meeting. Suffice to say, many parishioners are working hard for their fellow parishioners. The parish is conscious of social justice. I am looking forward to working with these groups.
It is important for us to know that the underlying reason for our works of charity is faith in the person of Jesus. In the Gospel for this weekend, we hear that the people murmured. They murmured because their understanding of what it means to be a hero is different from ours.
American understanding of hero is rooted in our belief in equality. Because of our belief in equal opportunity, one who is able to rise from nothing to something, like Abraham Lincoln, is seen as a hero. On the other hand, in the time of Jesus, one who rises from nothing to something is seen as an imposter. In John 6, they perceived Jesus as claiming to be more than He is; they saw Him as an imposter, and they could not bring themselves to believe in Him. They had a crisis of faith. We are different. We see Jesus as truly the Son of God, the true food for our life’s pilgrimage. Our faith in Him is important for our works of charity.
May God continue to strengthen and purify our faith.
Fr. Mike Ume