[COLUMN] United in faith, love, and peace

WE have abundant blessings to celebrate in our parish this month. Forty youth and young adults received the Sacrament of Confirmation last Saturday, and twenty-six 8th-grade students graduated from our school, with the majority of them pursuing a Catholic high school education.

We are also looking forward to our annual parish carnival that brings together our parishioners and the neighborhood. Let’s bring smiles to the people who come to the carnival, welcome them, and wish them our good intentions. In a world ridden with conflicts and wars, we, as a parish community, must set an example of bringing peace and goodwill to those around us. This is one way to evangelize to other people.

As a church, we are also susceptible to the attacks of the devil, who seeks to divide us. We must not allow God’s enemy to sow hatred, division, malice, discrimination, and unforgiveness in our hearts.

Similarly, we must not let discouragement destroy our vision as a church to be joyful, loving, and filled with faith when crises, problems, and strife arise. Often, this feeling of discouragement is the work of the devil. Instead, we must remain hopeful and persevere in our faith. As St. Paul states in this Sunday’s (June 9) Second Reading (2 Cor 4:13, 5:1):

“Therefore, we are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.”

We have many plans for development and growth in our parish. God has blessed us with resources, thanks to the generosity of parishioners both in the past and the present. Let us pray that our major building projects will commence soon upon approval by the City of Glendale.

One of our important tasks as a parish is to remain united. We are a family, and therefore, love, understanding, forgiveness, and kindness must reign within our community. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, forged by the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. We must strive to worship together, relate to one another, and work in harmony. By doing so, as Jesus says in this Sunday’s Gospel, we are fulfilling the will of the Father.

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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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