A Word from Fr. Robert
Dear Church Family,
The Love and Peace of Jesus Christ be with you in abundance. I am so grateful to God and to each of you, especially Fr. Bob, for giving me once again the opportunity to share with you the Word of God and to use this medium to say, “Thank You and Goodbye” as I prepare to go back to Ghana on September 28.
As usual, your love, kindness, hospitality and generosity have been so wonderful and I have really enjoyed every bit of my stay ministering with you. Keep on loving and sharing and the Good Lord will never overlook your kindness. He will surely bless you in abundance.
Today’s first reading is an invitation to change one way of looking at God. As human beings, we sometimes forget that God is good, fatherly, loving and a faithful friend, and then we imagine Him to be a remote, unforgiving and a harsh judge. This way of looking at Him makes us sometimes feel despair that our sins will not be forgiven or cannot be forgiven especially when we see ourselves committing the same particular sins days after days, years after years and when we look at the gravity of our sins.
This reading in brief says “Change your mind and turn to God for mercy because God is generous and forgiving. His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways”. What is even more amazing is that He says, “As the Heavens are above the earth so high are His ways above our ways and His thoughts above our thoughts.”
The Gospel reading sheds more-light on the mercy and generosity of God. I see two main points here both showing the generosity of God. The first is that God, the vineyard owner, is concerned that nobody should be without work. He wants everybody to participate and not be spectators in His vineyard. He wants “all hands-on deck” in His vineyard so as to make His kingdom full of peace, love and justice well established here on Earth. Here everybody is unique and has a unique role to play, strong or weak, holy or sinful, rich or poor, early or late. You have a unique role to play and you are always being called upon to play that role. Wherever you find yourself, do the little you can and God will bless you abundantly.
The second point is His amazing generosity. He doesn’t pay us according to our merit because if He should, nobody would merit His kingdom for there is none that is perfect or righteous. So, Jesus wants us to have the attitude of a child who does not claim any right, cannot merit anything and who always expects his father to be kind to him. We can merit nothing from God, from Him we can only receive. Let us therefore rejoice and encourage one another to seek the Lord and His over flowing mercy while He may be found and gladly work for Him and rejoice when He extends His mercy to others.
Thank you for receiving me as not only a visiting priest but as your brother and a true member of the Church Family. All of you have been nothing but loving, gracious, and helpful to me in every way. I have enjoyed ministering with you through the liturgy, visiting the sick, counseling, and fellowshipping. Although I will soon return to my homeland in Ghana, you, my adopted church family, will be in my daily thoughts and prayers. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you.
Love, Fr. Robert Sackey