A Message from Father Gomez

November 11 2020
Dear Family,

May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with us forever!

Wow, the week has gone by so quickly! – And each week that goes by has its own peculiarity. This week, I think the biggest gift is called “being grateful”. Today gratitude bears the name, Veterans Day. History reminds us that with the end of WWI (the war to end all wars), after WWII and after the Korean War, November 11 is established as the date to honor military personnel.

From the very depths of the heart we are thankful for all men and women who have put on their country’s uniform and have mobilized to its defense. Important to point out that the conflicts were not only of an external nature and limited to the battlefields in distant lands. The battles that these men and women faced with courage, determination and even the ultimate sacrifice, included the engagements that were faced in the interior of the soul. A swift summary of history lets us know that in them and through them the country discovers itself populated by an incredibly diverse citizenry. In these spaces, equality between races and between men and women and social status became possible. It is practically self-evident that among those who share a common destiny in the battlefield, this equality is a given that has the sound and smell of common sense as well as something urgent.

Under conditions that threaten life, it is obvious that without equality, without justice, there will be no life. It is something to lament that once the war is over, injustice returns making the sacrifices of s many be in vain. The word “sacrifice” is well used here. It means to “make sacred”, as is the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Jesus dies fulfilling his promise, keeping his word of honor, “I will die, but never betray your”, that was made at the Last Supper, at the covenant meal where he left as his legacy a commandment, “love one another as I have loved you”.

As a people willing to defend one’s country or as persons willing to follow the Lord Jesus, that blood of the martyrs demands that their sacrifice not be in vain. This has to do with every single one of us, no one is absolved from the responsibility of civic duty of making one’s own the Lord’s command. All of this relatively easy to say, but it has to be put into practice in the smallest details, in the attitudes we propagate, in the prejudices we enjoy, in the illegalities we allow – in and outside of Church.

The best way to than our veterans is not with words, it is with action, with our lives, with our way of life.

November 4, 2020
Dear Family,

May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with us forever!

As always, it is a pleasure to sit and write a few lines. Always hoping you are doing well and better! I started this yesterday but wanted to wait until after the election. The final tally is still not in, but let me just sit and share with you a few thoughts – maybe more rambling than usual.

I am asking myself the question, personally and as Church, what is the election telling me? And what might be path to take?

What seems apparent, so as not to say obvious, is the sadness of a divided nation. A rigidly divided nation. These are dark clouds, as Pope Francis would say, over the country and indeed over the entire world. This is a pandemic, emotional and spiritual, that has infected us and is taking lives away. It is difficult, but we need to recognize that in recent years, society has taken some very sad pathways: political systems that exclude civic participation, economic models of exploitation, a culture of indifference that lets itself be led by convenience, violence everywhere. Independent of the election results, this remains as something that needs urgent care.

Important to point out that a personal examine of conscience is necessary. Each one of us needs to recognize the darkness that we carry within. As Church, the examine of conscience is also necessary: who do we exclude? Who do we allow? Where are we most rigid? Where or how are we most indifferent?

The gospel tells us “come to me” (Mt. 11:28). In the first place, it is not a matter of choosing between political parties. Healing and an authentic way of life will depend upon a renewed encounter with the Lord. This encounter does not mean that all of a sudden, the darkness will disappear. What it does mean is that the foundation is set; a strong foundation for the construction of a way of life that has integrity, family, community, church and country. Without this foundation, everything will be an illusion.

This foundation has to do with concern for the common good because we are all members of the same family; they have to do with a courage willing to create a world where justice is more important that profit; they have to do with forgiveness and reconciliation they have to do with a “we” and not an “I”. They have to do with the clear awareness that no president is the Messiah, and that the Spirit has been poured upon all of us. With this spirit, all of us can become artisans of a new society.

Darkness will not be victorious.
We pray to the Lord.

October 27, 2020
Dear Family,

May the grace and peace of the Holy Spirit be with us forever!

It is good to be able to sit and send your way a few lines, always with my best wishes and an armful of prayers. This morning, I don’t quite know where to start. The change of climate provides a bit of rest from the heat and feels like it’s time to go look for a jacket and maybe a scarf. But, there is also a bit of sadness in the air. An older person sat down to chat with me yesterday, I can still hear his words “they said that the heat would take care of the virus, but it’s still here”. Along the same lines, this morning we received pastoral norms for the rest of the year, directives to be followed during the holidays (you can find them posted in the web page, click here). Much of what we have been accustomed to has been cancelled or will have to be handled differently.

Yes, there is a certain sadness. Not healthy to repress the feeling, it has to be respected and it does offer the opportunity for us to recognize what is most important. All of us hold as important our health, and especially the health of those we love. We also hold as important the expression of our faith as in processions, song and festivity. Said differently, we hold as important and our loved ones and our faith. This is something that nothing or anyone will ever take away from us. What we have to do is hold on tight to what is forever and we have to find a way to express our love for those we care for as well as our faith in perhaps a new and better way.

The fact is that a changing of the seasons is taking place, another one is coming our way. I like the expression “coming our way”. This coming Sunday, November 1st. we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. We could say that it commemorates what has taken place in the past, a celebration of thanksgiving for the holiness of so many persons that revealed the presence of Our Lord. However, to be more precise, it is a prophetic celebration of Our Lord who is always coming towards us. The festivity of All Souls/Day of the Dead, is something similar. In the tradition we celebrate on this day that our dearly departed come our way for a visit, and we welcome them home.

Though there be sadness because all around us what is happening is not at all what we want, we need to find a way to gently focus ahead, towards the future. From the absoluteness of the future, Our Lord comes our way, to bring us more of the Reign of God. He brings to us hope, joy, consolation, strength and so much more. We are already able to see this. The elderly person that sat next to me, also mentioned the grandness of his love for his wife. He was not stuck; his vision was towards the future and the blessings of God who constantly comes our way.