A priest was spending a part of summer vacation with his brother and family in Illinois. One hot, muggy night they decided to go swimming in a nearby lake. Some other groups had the same idea, among them were several adults who had too much beer. The priest and his relatives were having a great time when suddenly a scream split the air: “Help! Help!” One of the beer-drinkers had waded out where the water was up to his neck, lapping his chin and mouth. His friends on shore kept shouting: “This way, Ernie, this way.” But Ernie was confused and scared as he kept shouting: “Help! Help!” The priest waded and swam out close enough to grab Ernie’s hand, but not too close enough to be clutched by Ernie. “Come on, Ernie, this way,” the padre kept saying as he slowly pulled Ernie to the shallow water.

We just read about St. Peter who thought he was drowning and who called out to Jesus: “Lord, save me!” In both these stories there is a point I would like to emphasize: both St. Peter and Ernie cried for help in just a few words. Their prayers were brief to the point. It is interesting to note how many ask Christ for favors in a few words. It gives us a hint on how to approach Christ.

We would do well to model some of our prayers after the brief prayers of those who talked to Jesus on this earth. Not that we will neglect the formal and official prayers of the family of God, but because often we haven’t the time and mental energy to make up a longer prayer of our own, and because SHORTER PRAYERS can be offered any time and at any place.

Try it today, at table at home. Instead of the usual grace before and after meal simply say with devotion: “Thank You! Lord for this food.” As you back out of the garage: “Lord, grant me a safe trip.” After a long trip on the freeway: “Thank You, Lord! For saving us.” Here’s a better idea in half the words: “Lord, help me to be patient in many ways.” Pick out one or the other and emphasize that prayer in every Mass you attend. Above all, try these brief prayers in your everyday life. Pray to Jesus in your own words, in a few words. God bless you!

#4 A Joke From St. Joe: While looking at my congregation, I noticed that one of the ladies was not opening her mouth while the rest were singing. After the Mass, I asked her, “Why were you not singing during the Mass?” She answered, “Pastor, I have a big problem, I am out of tune.” I told her in return, “Even if you are out of tune, just sing. It is not your problem. It’s your neighbor’s problem.”

In this third week of August, we celebrate the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe, Priest and Martyr on the 14th. The Solemnity of the Assumption of the BVM is on the 15th and it is a Holy Day of Obligation. Try to find time to go to Mass. We have our 8AM Mass as our regular time and a 6PM extra Mass for our working parishioners. We also have a special Healing Mass at 4PM for all Cancer Survivors at our regular Mass on Saturday on August 19. This is followed by our devotees to the Holy Family Rosary Prayer Group with Rosary and Mass at the Ascension Hall at 6PM to 7PM. A reception follows at the St. Joseph House with our Filipino food. This is all for now, watch for the next bulletin.

Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,

Fr. Reggie