At all the Masses last weekend, we started our first “Building Your Faith Sundays” part of our parish Pastoral Plan. I created a guided meditation for you to use, but you can do the same thing at home. Here is the way. First, choose a Gospel that you like. At different times in my life, I had a different favorite Gospel. These days mine is John. It might, however, be easier to start with the first Gospel written, which is Mark. Read along until you find a story that speaks to you. Usually it will only be five to eight lines in length. To start, I would recommend the story of the healing of the paralytic, which is Mark 2:1-12. Read the story carefully two or three times until you know it well enough to be able to tell it to someone.
Then, close your eyes and create the situation in your imagination. Place yourself in the scene, either as an observer or as one of the main characters. Be as detailed as you can in picturing, hearing, and feeling the scene. Then, watch Jesus as he interacts with the main character. See and hear it as if you were at a movie. Then in your heart, create a prayer to Jesus and let him respond to you. Finally be quiet for a moment and see if you feel God’s presence in the prayer. Finally, open your eyes and say an Our Father. It is that simple. Try it, and see if it does not indeed deepen your relationship with the Lord.
As I mentioned at Mass, there will be four “Build Your Faith Sundays” in the coming year. This weekend, there will be witness talks about the importance of Faith. At the 8 AM Mass, Jane Davis will speak, at the 9:15 AM and 6 PM, it will be Tom Barker and at the 11 AM, Dick Auwarter. If you might be interested in giving a talk at a future Sunday, please let me know.
Also as I mentioned last week, our Mass attendance has dropped considerably this year. At the next Pastoral Council meeting, I will be asking the Council for their ideas on how to increase attendance and involvement.