This past weekend was the formal celebration of our parish feast, the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, actually this past Thursday (14 September).   I wrote about this choice in last week’s bulletin.  That was theory:  what about practice?

          We began with a special bi-lingual Mass, concelebrated by me and Fr Jose (our unofficial but real “associate pastor”).  It was a delightful experience, as it always is.  Immediately following the Mass was our parish supper.  But I could not attend.

          I’d gotten word just before Mass of a man in our parish taken to hospital.  He’s battling cancer and has days, really, to live.  So I went to anoint him and bring him and his family Holy Communion.  I thought of the words of Jesus from Mark’s Gospel:  “Let us go…For this purpose I have come” (Mk 1:36).  It’s why a priest is a priest.  But as I was ministering sacramentally at Providence Hospital, what else what happening at Our Savior?

          As I was getting the Eucharist to take to this family, another family came in.  They apologized for missing Mass—they were late because they didn’t know the 7:00 pm Mass was at 6:00 on that day.  I invited them to pray a while, and I headed to the hospital.

          It turns out they were displaced from Ft Pierce by Hurricane Irma.  But given the circumstances, one member of our parish invited them to join us for the feast.  Others sat and talked with them; another got food for them from our food pantry.  All this happened without a word of request from the family—it was all spontaneous welcome and love.

          From yet another parishioner, I learned that the family’s home is safe, and they are returning to Florida.  Did we (that is, the people of Our Savior parish) make a difference?  If you have to ask that question, there’s no way I can answer!

          On top of all this, on the same weekend, we contributed over $11,000.00 to hurricane relief—another mark of the spirit of giving that fills Our Savior.  And in addition, I’d asked some of you to pray with me for a special intention:  you need to know the prayer has been answered, praise the Lord!

          I and you—we all—ministered as the Body of Christ this past weekend in magnificent ways.  I pray in thanksgiving for my being able to be a part of this wonderful, welcoming, giving parish.  Truly, this past weekend we exalted the Holy Cross—THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE  THANK YOU FOR BEING THE EFFECTIVE AND BEAUTIFUL BODY OF CHRIST!!