St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard,  Encino, California 91436
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From the Desk of Father Mac
 

Twenty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
September 10th, 2017


My Dear Friends in Christ,

The images of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding were disturbing. Thankfully, we’ve only seen images; but the people of Texas and the Gulf Coast experienced the real thing—their homes and businesses destroyed. The marginalized and poor have been especially vulnerable. Now begins the long process of rebuilding.

It’s impossible not to wonder: where is God in all of this? How could a loving God let something so destructive happen? These questions are valid, and they don’t have simple answers.

Our faith tells us that God never intends suffering; in fact, He weeps over it (John 11:35). Yet, He allows the world to continue on its natural course, which means that suffering inevitably happens. It’s a perplexing mystery, but it shouldn’t drive us to despair. Why? Because God has given us a glimpse into the way He brings good from the worst of situations. This doesn’t negate the suffering, but it prevents us from falling into hopelessness.

In today’s second reading, Saint Paul says “owe nothing to anyone; except to love one another” (Rom 13:8). We have seen love in action in the response to Hurricane Harvey: homeowners offering food and shelter to those in need; businesses opening their doors to displaced people; civilians rowing boats down streets that had turned into rivers in order to rescue complete strangers; emergency responders putting their life on the line; a priest getting in his kayak to check on parishioners.

God shows Himself in the love of His people. In response to Harvey, love has appeared, in little ways and in big ways, through the efforts of people who could very easily seek only their own benefit and it is this love that will move us forward, no matter what suffering comes our way. God is present in every act of love that points us towards hope. There is tragedy, yes, but there is also human love that participates in Divine Love. There is also a God who cares because God is love.

There is a concrete way we can love our neighbors affected by Hurricane Harvey today. At all Masses this weekend we will take up a second collection to aid hurricane victims.

We shouldn’t allow our charity to end when the flood waters recede. Rather, we as Christians must orient our lives around advocating for and assisting the most vulnerable. Love is a lifestyle, not a single action; begin that lifestyle today by doing what you can.

Friends, God is here. God is moving through those who love, and He wants you to be part of it. Never lose sight of hope!

In Christ,
 

Pastor 

 

For Information, please contact the Parish Office at  info@st-cyril.org or phone 818.986.8234


 

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem Parish
15520 Ventura Boulevard
(mail: 4601 Firmament Ave)
Encino, CA  91436
818- 986.8234
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Image of artwork in header - Used with permission (one-time use only)  from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.
Title: "St Cyril of Jerusalem" - Artist: Anthony Visco, Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Philadelphia, PA - Shrine’s website: guadalupeshrine.org


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