Deacon Lincoln’s Log 4-26-2020

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you — declares the Lord — plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” – Jer. 29:11

““No one hopes for a crisis, and rightly so. Certainly, this applies to teams and organizations. Most leaders would probably say one of their primary responsibilities is to prevent a crisis from occurring. However, a powerful lesson for organizations can be found smack dab in the middle of a crisis. It isn’t uncommon for a leader to say, “our team had never pulled together more than when we were facing a crisis.” Maybe it’s the prospect of going out of business or dealing with a public relations catastrophe or even a natural disaster that causes people to rally.” – Pat Lencioni

It is hard for me to express how grateful and proud I am of our parish, our leadership teams, staff, and of each of you. Our staff has been working from home since March 19 and have been reaching out to parishioners through calls, learning new skills, making sure the bills get paid and gifts are deposited, praying, creating networks, posting on facebook, creating flocknotes, shooting video, supervising new equipment, learning to live stream, proclaiming the good news, providing hope and healing… all from home (mostly) and in an incredibly challenging environment. We are even putting together an all parish mailing for you soon.

I’m also proud of the entire parish community. I have seen and heard people reaching out to those within and outside our community. We have started online meetings of our committees and commissions to stay connected and move forward together. And for many of us, our prayer lives have gotten deeper and more real. There is so much good happening in the midst of the crisis.

Being Catholic is about being a part of a community and we are weathering the storm well. But the storm has changed us. The people who began social distancing over a month ago are not the same as the people who will be reentering the church whenever that day comes. Each of us has been profoundly changed by this experience. Some of us have been traumatized. Some have lost loved ones. Some of us are overwhelmed and some of us are lonely. Some have grown closer to God while others have new questions. We have withdrawn and reached out, cried, laughed and learned. Our families have shifted. We’ve eaten together as a family or alone, in front of a computer with a loved one. We are not the same people we were. None of us is.

And the crisis is not over. It appears that we will be living in a new world and learning new ways to interact for quite a while. Now is a good time to begin to turn our attention to “reentry.” What will it look like and how will we care for one another and live the mission of Jesus in this newly emerging world? As the summer approaches and new guidelines for interacting are introduced how do we care for each other? How do we make disciples in this new environment? Who is God calling us to become? These are questions we must start to grapple with now.

The good news is that God has a plan. God is still God and he loves and cares for his people. Together we look to the future full of hope because God is with us and we are with each other. I would love to hear how you are doing. I miss you all very much but I trust in God’s plan and move into the future full of hope.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 2-26-17

Goose, Goose Breast, Fry, Food, Christmas Food, Feast“There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink and find enjoyment, for these are from the hand of God.”
Ecclesiastes 2:24

“One will have to give account in the judgment day of every good thing which one might have enjoyed and did not.”
The Talmud

Lent is nearly upon us, but before we began our time of fasting, we have the time of feasting known as Mardi Gras (or Fat Tuesday). Mardi Gras is not a time of overindulgence or immorality as it is sometimes portrayed. Instead, at its heart, Mardi Gras is about enjoying the gifts God has given us to the fullest. It is a time of gratitude and thanks.

I priest in the diocese recently shared his favorite Mardi Gras prayer, which gets at the sensuousness and delight of Mardi Gras.

O Lord, refresh our sensibilities.  Give us this day our daily taste. Restore to us soups that spoons will not sink in, and sauces which are never the same twice.  Raise up among us stews with more gravy than we have bread to blot it with, and casseroles that put starch and substance in our limp modernity. Take away our fear of fat, and make us glad of the oil which ran upon Aaron’s beard.  Give us pasta with a hundred fillings, and rice in a thousand variations.  Above all, give us grace to live as true folk – to fast till we come to a refreshed sense of what we have and then to dine gratefully on all that comes to hand.  Drive far from us, O Most Bountiful, all creatures of air and darkness; cast out the demons that possess us; deliver us from the fear of calories and the bondage of nutrition; and set us free once more in our own land, where we shall serve thee as thou hast blessed us – with the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine. (Robert Farrar Capon)

May the next few days be days of great joy and gratitude in your life as we prepare for the coming lenten fast.

“Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth. Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass us by. Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither. Et none of us fail to share in our revelry; because this is our portion, and this is our lot” (Wisdom 2:6-9).

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 10-13-13

In God’s gift of faith, a supernatural infused virtue, we realize that a great love has been offered us, a good word has been spoken to us, and that when we welcome that word, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, the Holy Spirit transforms us, lights up our way to the future and enables us to joyfully advance along the way on the wings of hope.

Pope Francis, The Light of Faith 7

[Jesus said,] ‘It seems that no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.’ And he said to the man, ‘Stand up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you.’

Lk. 17: 19

Faith and gratitude are intimately connected. Faith is a gift from God. Faith is our capacity to accept the greatest gift that God has given us, salvation in Jesus Christ. It is an openness to the great love of God that is given to us in Jesus.

But if it is not exercised, this openness lies dormant. Like an open door, it swings in the wind, waiting for someone to enter. Or like a seed that is never watered, it lies dormant. Faith loses its purpose and becomes listless if left by itself. It must be acted upon and activated. Like all virtue, faith grows when it is used.

Gratitude is one of the primary ways we exercise our faith. Giving thanks to God opens our faith to new levels. It acknowledges the gift we have been given, and empowers us to receive even more.

All ten lepers received the gift of healing in the Gospel (Lk. 17:11-19), but only one exercised faith in offering thanks and praise to God. It was to this man that Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you.”

In our baptism each of us has been given the gift of faith. This week, exercise your faith by thanking God for all He has done for you in Jesus.

Peace,

Lincoln A. Wood

Deacon Lincoln’s Log 8-11-13

Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

Lk. 12:48

With great power comes great responsibility.”

Spiderman’s Uncle Ben

While we may not be Spiderman, we have each been given everything we have from God. The first response to the gift of our lives – everything we have and everything we are – is gratitude. It is all a gift, after all.

Our next response is generosity. We have been given each of these gifts to be shared with others. We have a responsibility to one another, whether we have been given a lot or a little. Our gifts connect us to one another and demand to be shared.

Sometimes fear prevents us from being generous. Jesus says to us, “Do not be afraid any longer… “ (Lk 12: 32). The Kingdom of God has been given to us. There is nothing to fear. Sometimes it is hard to believe this but it is true. The generous God who blesses us daily will not abandon us in our need. With that confidence we can reach out to others and mirror the generosity God has shown us.

This week reflect on what you have been entrusted with. Do you have previously unknown gifts that are now calling to be shared? Have you shared your gifts generously? How can you grow in generosity? What fears prevent you from sharing the gifts God has entrusted to you?

We may not be able to leap from building to building or cling to walls, but we do have gifts to share. Let’s grow in generosity together.

Peace,

Lincoln A. Wood

Identity

[After creating the heavens and the earth] God said, Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild animals and all the creatures that creep along the ground. God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it. Be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven and all the living creatures that move on earth And so it was. God saw all he had made, and indeed it was very good.

Gn. 1:26-31

Gratitude

Father, we acknowledge your greatness: all your actions show your wisdom and love. You formed us in your own likeness and set us over the whole world to serve you, our creator, and to rule over all creatures. Even when we disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon us to the power of death, but helped all to seek and find you. Again and again you offered a covenant to us, and through your prophets taught us to hope for salvation. Father, you so loved the world that in the fullness of time you sent your only Son to be our savior.

Eucharistic Prayer IV