by Fr. Paul Gros

Dear Family in Christ, Peace in the Lord Jesus Christ! So, what was your favorite subject in school growing up? For me, I was a math and science guy. I know for others the opposite may be true – they liked Literature, English and/or Art classes. Numerological science says that these two categories of subjects actually challenge two different sides of the brain. The math and science (kind of the engineering type) use the left side of the brain while the art and literature side (the more creative side) use the right side of the brain. I think I liked math and science better because there were clear boundaries and clear answers to questions! For example, 2 + 2 = 4 and there is no changing that! While on the other hand, literature and art seem to be less “clear-cut” and really challenges that creative side of us. The latter was never my gift!

This Sunday the church gives us the second reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. This reading from Chapter 11 follows “on the heels” of last Sunday’s reading. If you can remember, last Sunday’s second reading was about God allowing all to fall into disobedience, so that he could show mercy to all (Romans 11:32).

In light of that, this Sunday St. Paul speaks of the greatness of God and His will which is far beyond the human mind (no boundaries!!!). To grasp His plan for history (both collectively and personally) is often something we can only ponder and wonder. When I think of my own life’s history, I am completely in awe; how in the world did a boy from Baton Rouge end up in Albany, LA, as a priest?!?!? I could never have imagined that 20 years ago. But God’s ways are far beyond our own and here I am, with all the “twists and turns” that got me here. You might say that God challenges the right side of our brains in being creative in response to how He acts.

To ask the question “why” when it comes to God’s plan is something we all do. He is the only one that can really answer that question, and sometimes it may not be until Heaven that we see the full answer. But to trust that He is love and His will is for us (not against us) is the challenge we all have to face at one point or another. After looking at the history of his own people, the Jews, and the reception of the Gentiles into the New Covenant established by Christ, St. Paul was simply left in awe and wonder – “How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!”(Romans 11:33) “At many times in life there is nothing left but to say: ‘I cannot grasp Your mind, Lord, but with my whole heart I trust Your love. Your will be done!’ ” (Barclay, 155).

Finally, I want to thank all those who attended our first installment of Family Faith Formation and Theology in a Bottle. Both Dina and Fr. Jamin did wonderful jobs presenting their topics, and both were a huge success! Thank you!

I will be out Thursday and Friday of this week on a small beach vacation. Dcn. Tim will have a communion service on Thursday and Fr. Joseph Bresowar will be here for Friday morning Mass. Fr. Taylor

will be taking the Thursday 4:00PM confessions. I will be back on Saturday, September 2, for the Deacon Candidate Back-To-School Mass and my Pastor Installation at the 4:00PM Mass with Bishop Duca, and a reception to follow! I hope you can make it!

God bless!

Fr. Paul