Our hearts are broken as we move through the shock and numbness of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, April 15, Patriot’s Day. Many among us are trying to make sense of the unsettling events and are in need of solace and looking for consolation, fellowship, and a place to lay down our sorrow. In Fr. James La Macchia’s homily the following Sunday, April 21, aptly named, “Good Shepherd Sunday” in the Liturgical Calendar, his focus was not on why there is evil in the world or why innocent people suffer. Rather, his homily reminded us that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd and He continually calls and invites His “lost sheep” -- all of humanity -- to be found by Him and remain in the fold of His redeeming grace. With Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd always with us, we need fear no evil.
"O save your people, and bless your heritage, be their shepherd, and carry them forever." Psalm 28:9
As we begin a new week and people return to their routines after the events of last week in Boston, we invite you to join us in prayer and contemplation around these events. This is also a time for quiet and deep listening to what co-workers, family, and friends are thinking and feeling. There may be people who want to pray, but cannot yet find the words. The "Prayers of the People" may be a place to begin. Click here for a link to these prayers. For a printed copy of the homily, click here. For an audio version of the homily, click here.
In the meanwhile, stay close to Christ in prayer this week as you process the meaning of recent events. Don't be afraid to bring your doubts and confusion and all of your emotions to God in prayer: God is large enough to handle them as you listen for our Lord's word of consolation and meaning. God is good--all of the time.
Messiah is “a welcoming Episcopal community of healing and hope, justice and song.” While this phrase might be newly-minted, those values have been at the heart of our community since our founding in 1871.
Welcoming: At the Mass on Sunday, we are reminded that “This is God’s table and all are welcome!” There is no barrier to being part of the Parish of the Messiah, and that openness is reflected in the diversity of our community in race, class, creed, age, sexuality and politics. We are from many countries, and some of us are part of interfaith families.
Episcopal: Messiah is part of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Massachusetts. We are part of the Charles River Deanery. Our Anglican roots make us one of the ancient orders of Christians, along with the Catholic and Orthodox churches. We are Catholic in our sacramental theology and Protestant in the democratic nature of our community. There are a lot of great things we could say about the Episcopal Church, but the best way to find out about us is to come on a Sunday morning and experience it for yourself!
Community: Messiah is a “family sized” parish, which makes our community especially welcoming and friendly. At a normal Sunday service expect anywhere from 30 to 50 people, including perhaps a dozen children. You won’t be the only newcomer -- nearly two-thirds of us have joined the parish in the last ten years!
Healing: Every Sunday, we offer anointing and laying on of hands in a quiet prayer for healing. We find healing in other ways as well. Being part of a prayerful, welcoming community has helped many people repair their relationship with God and with the church.
Hope: Life is hard, but through God all things are possible. Join us in prayer and song and rediscover what it means to be hopeful!
Justice: We believe that prayer needs to be more than just pretty words -- if we want healing in the world, we need to respond to God’s call for justice. Whether it is helping to build a library in a South African township, collecting food for the local food pantry, or helping neighbors in financial need, Messiah strives to embody the justice of Jesus’ beatitudes.
Song: “To us and to God, your voice is beautiful!” The music at Messiah is ancient and modern, a thoughtful mixture of Anglican chant and hymns both classic and new. Our parish musician, Tim Treacy, hails from Ireland. We select hymns that are enjoyable to sing and whose lyrics and music lifts up our hearts in prayer.
Come walk with us along the Way that Jesus showed us two thousand years ago. We hope to meet you some Sunday!
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