I hope you are all fine. I am happy to have come to these parishes. I am excited to meet with you all so that we can grow together. I was told that these parishes are strong Catholic parishes with deep faith. I am happy to know that. I hope that your faith gets stronger and stronger and you become good and living witnesses of the Lord.
There was a very strong Catholic person who was going to church for a long time. He had been going but in vain. He did not find that the Holy Mass helped him in any way. He came to a point when he was bored of Mass so much that he sent a letter to the editor of a renowned newspaper. His letter read something like this. "Dear sir, I am a Catholic person. I would like to tell you that the mass and the preaching are no good. I have been going to church for all my life. I have listened to thousands of homilies and received thousands of communions. But none of these have helped me. I feel I have wasted a good part of my life. The priests’ preaching is a waste of time. Their preaching has not done anything to me at all. I don't know why all these people are so dumb."
The letter created a stir among people. There was much hue and cry about this man and his letter. He was almost hated by all. To the end of all, another person wrote a letter to the same editor of the same newspaper. That letter read like this: “Dear sir, I am a Catholic and I am married. We have been married for more than thirty five years. My wife has been cooking for all these years. She has cooked various kinds of meals. But till now I do not know the recipe for any food or meal. I know that the food has nourished me, and given strength and flexibility to my body. If I had not eaten those meals prepared by my wife, I would be physically dead today. Similarly so, if I had not been going to church for all these days of my life, I would be spiritually dead. So the nourishment of my body depends on my wife's food and my spiritual nourishment depends on going to church." Thus the stir came to an end.
This is sometimes true in our life. We try to find rational reasons for attending the mass. But we need to realize that the mass and the other sacraments do not need our rationale for being effective. They have their effect despite our acceptance or non-acceptance. So the better way to approach these is to take part in these things without trying to rationalize them. They will sure have an effect in our lives.
May God bless you all.
Sincerely, Fr. A.Antony