“Here am I Lord, I come to do your will” – Psalm 40

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We are constantly praying that God’s will be done in our lives. However, it can be challenging in the everyday life to figure out God’s will. It takes time. It takes prayer. It takes entering into relationship with God daily. What also helps is looking to the saints who strived for this in their lives. Back in November, our parish handed out the book “Rediscover the Saints” by Matthew Kelly. It is a beautiful read. If you didn’t get a chance to read it yet, pick it up and in no time you will be inspired by the saints. One saint from the book that was especially helpful to me in living out God’s will is St. Anthony of the Desert. His feast day is January 17. This saint from the 3rd century simplifies what it means to do God’s will.

After his parents died when he was around 20, he began to think about how the apostles left everything and followed Jesus. How they sold their possessions and gave them to the needy. One day while he was reflecting on these things, he entered church as the Gospel was being read and he heard the Lord’s words to the rich man. “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor—you will have riches in heaven. Then come and follow me.” It is said that shortly after, he gave away all the property he inherited from his parents and sold all his possessions and gave them to the poor and entered the ascetic life as a monk. St. Anthony simplified the spiritual life to first listening to God’s word and responding to it. This is how he lived out God’s will. Perhaps we can begin to do this as well. Next weekend, we will celebrate Word of God Sunday, where we celebrate God’s Word, His voice in our everyday lives. Will you take more time to listen to his voice and respond to it boldly like St. Anthony did? It’s so simple, but His Word is where His Will resides. Enter into it!

In parish news, you may notice that Ordinary time is back! Woo hoo! While it is sad that all the decorations are down, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the Maintenance Staff, Art and Environment crew and volunteers that made the church so beautiful inside and out during the Christmas season. It takes a lot of work. Thank you!

Let there be light! You may notice either in the early morning or at night, when you look at the Memorare Center, there is light in the building! Power is in the building. With this means, heating, drywall finishing, painting and more. Things are moving forward there, which is exciting for our community. Again, thank you for the generosity that makes this possible.

Lastly, many of you may know that Fr. Lou Thomas, former Parochial Vicar of this parish, now Administrator of St. Andrew in Norton, has been struggling with health issues over the past year. Just last year, he was informed that he needed a liver to regain his health. One of our parishioners and maintenance staff, Anna Clark felt called to see if her liver could be a match for him! And it is! So, on February 1, Fr. Lou Thomas and Anna Clark will go into surgery because Anna has heroically offered part of her liver so that Fr. Lou can live. This is holiness. This is what it means to live Jesus’ life in the world! Jesus gave his life so that we can live. She is doing this. We have to celebrate this witness. Thank you Anna!

I will anoint them both during the 11:00 Mass next Sunday, but due to Covid-19, we won’t be able to greet them after Mass. Please pray for them as they prepare for surgery. Pray for healing and a fast recovery for both of them. God blesses our prayers. Thank you.

May God’s peace, joy and good health be with you,
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler

4019 Manchester Road
Akron, OH 44319
Ph: 330.644.2225
Email: ParishOffice@stfparish.com
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