Published on August 8, 2017
Dear Parishioners and Friends of the Sandusky Catholic Parishes,
High  summer  is  waning   and  one  can feel the hint of fall in the early mornings.   It  always  brings  back memories of the farm, of picking corn in the wet and the darkness of the early morning, and by ten o’clock the steam would be seen in the fields as the wetness of our clothes was being dried on our backs by the rising sun.
For Sandusky it is the time of prime tourism.  Families are getting in their last chance for vacation.  Cedar Point, Kalahari, Wolf Lodge, or the islands are frantically visited and enjoyed.  Many come to our churches for Sunday and I like when I hear about our communities.  Many comment on the beauty of the churches, but some say it was nice to be with the community on Sunday.
It is important to remind ourselves that it is not what we do that may be the most important thing but the loving.  Christ is the salvation of the world and significance comes from union with him.  I would point out that this union is real.  Without love, Christ is not in the world.  When there is no response to Christ in the world, then Christ is not here.  Without Christ the world collapses, disappears, and disintegrates into nothing, not worth a candle.
Only in the human can divinity live and only in humankind is the humanity of Christ Jesus present.  Only in human entrance into the mystery of Christ’s birth and life, passion, death and resurrection, through the sacrament of human life in the love of God, is the world kept going and the redemption accomplished.  Our significance then never lies in what we do or even who we are, but only in our love, and that love is pure gift, responded to, accepted and integrated.
Once, in the Garden of Eden, communion with God was easy.  Often primitive cultures are far more advanced than we are, without the civilization of frenzied noise and flurry, passion and violence, sometimes beautiful and often sophisticated but always drowning out the possibility for awareness and for reflection.  We need these havens of quiet where reality can be heard and where presence gives the heart scope and the world its meaning.
Many of our visitors find it in the churches, on Sunday morning or Saturday night.  Also we should know that we give off vibrations; we send messages.  These impulses can radiate love or contempt or anger.  No matter how plausible our face, how pleasant our toothy smile, the vibrations will send out our real message.  It will say “it is so good that you are with us,” or “this is my Church and even though I am smiling, know your place.”  A face as unlikely as Mother Teresa’s can transmit enormous love, and a very lovely face can transmit loathing.  Children are almost infallible in seeing into people and they pick up pretty easily our hypocrisies and our  two-faced way of acting.
Now the major dialogue is a silent one.  Our churches, our places of worship send out powerful streams of God, for God is very much in our worship.  So many who come to our community are tired and spent.  They need our hearts and a home for a few hours.  This is true hospitality when we reach out, not because it is a good thing to do, but because we need each other on the journey.
The message that we send out all day long is our witness and it is the sermon that we preach.  When we are like Jesus, when we see ourselves in the upper room where Jesus washes our feet and we do that for others and when we serve the meal that he served us, we will never forget and neither will those who are with us, no matter where they are from.
In Him,
Fr. Joe