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April 1, 2020 - My heart is steadfast

Dear Friends in Christ, 
 
He shall not fear an ill report;
his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord.
(Psalm 112:7)
 
First there was the Governor's extension of his directives until June 10th. Then there were the President's sobering words the other night. In light of these, many of us were probably tempted to discouragement. We had hoped for a shorter turnaround than we're looking at now. That temptation is understandable, but let's fight against it.
 
The word discouragement indicates a surrendering to bad news, a removal of courage (dis-courage) and strength. We do not want to give in to that weakening of the soul. Sure, we might be frustrated that things are not yet where we would like them to be. That's understandable, and in its proper place frustration can be helpful. It keeps us dissatisfied with mediocrity and the status quo and thus spurs us on to seek better things. So, frustration is allowed but not discouragement.
 
In Psalm 112 we read, He shall not fear an ill report; his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord. This describes the blessed person, the one in union with God. The "He" in that verse ultimately refers to Jesus Christ Himself. He did not fear or become discouraged by the "ill report" He heard about Himself. His Sacred Heart was steadfast because He trusted absolutely in His Father. 
 
That steadfastness should characterize His followers, especially in times of crisis. So, let us pray for a share in our Lord's trust in the Father. We will likely hear more ill reports. May our trust in the Father be so strong that no ill report shakes, destabilizes, or discourages us. In the midst of difficulties and trials, let us make our own the words of another Psalm:

My heart is steadfast, God,
my heart is steadfast.
I will sing and chant praise.
(Psalm 57:7)
 
Updates

Blood Drive
Tuesday's blood drive was a great success! 38 units of blood were collected across 40 donors.  Many were parishioners, the majority  between 25 and 40 years old.  The Red Cross drive manager commented that it was a very high turnout considering the unique circumstances. Thank you to Joe Knecht for his leadership on this and to all volunteers and donors. 
 
Fish Fry Drive Thru 

The Lenten fish fry season is coming to a finish, but without scaling back at all because we know many of you were hooked. Alas, tomorrow will be the last drive thru! The delicious food is for you...the proceeds are for our social outreach. We hope to reel you in one last time: 5:00pm - 7:30pm tomorrow.
 
Food Distribution

Thanks to our social outreach volunteers, the regular First Friday food distribution will continue tomorrow night. Their efforts for the poor are always appreciated, but all the more at this time, when people are in greater need and the outreach requires more effort. 
 
Rectory Ramblings

What does Jesus mean when He says, Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven (Mt 7:21). Well, tune in to Rectory Ramblings tonight at 8:00pm and find out! 
 
Through the intercession of our Lady and Saint James, may the Lord bless and keep you.
 
Sincerely in Christ, 
 
Fr. Scalia