Queen of Heaven Catholic Church

1800 Steese Road • Uniontown, Ohio 44685 • 330-896-2345

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Pastoral Letter

July 22, 2018 - The 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Note from Deacon Steve

One of the best things I like about living in Northeast Ohio is the change of the seasons. Yes, winter can be a little long at times, but over the years, I’ve come to appreciate all of the seasons each with their own unique beauty. And, if we look beneath the mere progression of the calendar pages, we come to find a Creator God who reveals Himself as being ordered, rhythmic and balanced. We have each season following one another each year just as certainly as “b” follows “a” and “2” follows “1.” We experience darkness balanced assuredly with light and cold undoubtedly balanced with warmth – the gray of winter offset by the dazzle of summer and the first sprouting crocus bookended with the last of the falling leaves.

Jesus, in today’s Gospel, is directing us to enter into an ordered and balanced rhythm of life both spiritually and humanly. We hear from St. Mark that “people were coming and going…and they had no opportunity even to eat.” With the busyness of our lives, does this sound familiar? Then, to His followers back then as He does to us today, Jesus offers sage wisdom to help balance the craziness that life often throws our way: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

Our Lord intimately knows the world of families and professions that we live in, with their incessant demands to work and do. But, as we know, a life of all work and no rest can lead to problems – physically, mentally and spiritually. With His Gospel directive today to “rest a while,” Jesus implores us to find balance and order in our lives even if this entails saying “no” to certain of the demands of life that are always nagging at us.

Written three hundred years before Christ, the ancient wisdom from the Book of Ecclesiastes shows us that seeking balance and rhythm in the human life is nothing new:
“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

So, as the mid-point of summer rapidly approaches, we find ourselves in an opportune time to take up Jesus at His word and “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” This sounds to me to be more that a mere suggestion by our Lord but an imperative to help us find rhythm, balance and order in our lives.

May God grant you His peace, His grace, His light and His most holy consolation!
Deacon Steve