[COLUMN] The joy of being and building a community

Greetings! It’s our annual Carnival in our parish, a weekend of fun, community building, and getting to know our neighbors here in Glendale. We pray for its success!

It’s our time to delight in each other’s company,    eat and drink together, and allow our youth and children to enjoy the rides safely. Let’s remember that all the proceeds from this Carnival will go toward our youth’s evangelization and faith formation, a significant priority of our church even more nowadays.

The Carnival allows us to welcome our neighbors and hope to build relationships and partnerships with them as we strive to make the “north of Glendale” a safe and enjoyable place to live. As we fulfill this mission, let’s remember our parish vision to be a joyful, welcoming, and faith-filled Body of Christ on our journey to eternal life with God. Let our faces and interaction with others express our parish slogan: “Bringing God to Glendale and Glendale to God!”  

We strive to fulfill this vision throughout the year by having joyful and meaningful liturgies, effective evangelization, faith formation, and outreach to the poor and others in need.

We take pride in having a parish school that reaches out to Catholic families and non-Catholics, presenting to them the person of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and his Good News of love, mercy, compassion, healing, service, peace, and justice.

The Responsorial Psalm of this Sunday’s Mass fits into the spirit of our celebration:

We are his people: the sheep of his flock. 

Sing joyfully to the Lord, all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God; he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends.

The Lord is good: his kindness endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. 

As a church, let’s remember that we’re not merely a congregation concerned about our needs but part of a larger community of faithful united in the shared vision of making this world peaceful, just, and safe for everyone. It’s what Jesus wants us to do: to have his heart filled with love and compassion for everyone and wanting us to be one and heal all divisions among us in this world.

And so, he sends us for this mission as we hear in the Gospel (Matthew 9:36-10-8) this Sunday (June 18):

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

Happy Carnival and blessings of peace and joy!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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