by Fr. Paul Gros

Dear Family in Christ,

Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ! Many of you are parents or grandparents so you know what it is like to raise children. How many of us have had to let our children make mistakes when it comes to learning new things in their lives? I know for me, growing up, my parents let me make my share of mistakes. This was not because they were cruel and wanted to see me fail, but because this was a sure way of helping me learn how to grow up.

I thought of that as I read the second reading this Sunday. For many of my Sundry Ruminations I will be reflecting on the second reading because most of the time I don’t have the chance to preach on it. The second reading is often one of St. Paul’s letters and we all know that St. Paul can be a bit difficult to understand.

So, what is St. Paul saying the second reading for this Sunday? Speaking to the Gentile population of the Church in Rome, he is basically saying – “Hey Gentiles do not look down on the Jews who have yet to believe in Christ. Remember that there was a time that you were disobedient to God and cut off from promises granted to Israelites. But now because of their disobedience (crucifying Jesus), He can now help you to learn just how merciful He truly is. And just as you once were disobedient and God showed mercy to you, so will He show it to the Israelites as well.”

“Just as you once disobeyed God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now disobeyed in order that…they too may now receive mercy. For God delivered all to disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Romans 11:29-32) In other words, God has let us fall into disobedience (to make our mistakes!!) so that we have the opportunity to know Him through His mercy.

How true this is! How many times, after having sinned and disobeyed His commandments, have you been able to meet the God of mercy in the confessional? Could we say that through His mercy showed to us because of our disobedience, we came to know Him even better? That is basically what St. Paul is saying – God allowed us to fall into disobedience (to make the mistakes, to sin against Him) so that we may have the opportunity to know Him THROUGH HIS MERCY OFFERED TO US!!! Amen to that!

Finally, I want to end with a few housekeeping notes. There has been an uptick in the number of COVID cases as of late (at least those that I am aware of). Just a reminder – please stay home if you feel sick. Your Sunday obligation is NOT an obligation if you are sick. As a matter of fact, it is an act of charity NOT to come to Mass if you are sick, so that others may not be infected! Also, just another reminder, please do your best not to park in the grass next to the driveway leading in and out of the parking lot – no one like ruts in their yard! There is enough room to park on the concrete and still allow cars to pass. Thanks so much! Have a wonderful, grace-filled week!

God bless!