The Lord is Kind and Merciful!

What great news we receive in Psalm 103 this week.  That the Lord is slow to anger and rich in compassion, and most of all, does not deal with us according to our sins.  Is this how you treat yourself?  Oftentimes, we deal with ourselves only according to our sins, mistakes and failures.  By getting to know our God more and more each day, perhaps we can begin to treat ourselves like He does, with gentleness, compassion and kindness.

This Monday, Sept. 14 at 2:00 pm, Bishop Edward C. Malesic will be installed as the 12th Bishop of Cleveland.  I’ve been asked a couple questions in light of this.  First:  What is Bishop Malesic like?  While I have never met him personally, I have read a number of articles about him on our diocesan website.  According to those articles, our Bishop-designate imitates our Lord as he is described as ‘a wonderful, kind and gentle soul.’  Here are some of his words from an online article:

“Bishop Malesic said coming to a diocese with 700,000 Catholics is a bit overwhelming, but he is looking forward to learning about the diocese and promised to be responsive to the needs of the people. When asked what the clergy could expect of him, he responded, “I’m a brother to them. I am a priest at heart. I understand their challenges and will treat them fairly and kindly.” 

What a gift it is to have a bishop who puts the needs of the people first and desires to lead in ways that are fair and kind and who knows his identity in the Lord.

Secondly, others have asked how a bishop is installed in a diocese?  While I could answer this, the best way to answer this is by going online at our diocesan website (dioceseofcleveland.org) pray and enter in to the installation.  What we pray is what we believe.  Allow the prayers of this celebration teach you.

On September 14, not only does our Church celebrate our new bishop, but we celebrate a feast day:  The Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. On this feast day we are called as Psalm 78 says to “not forget the works of the Lord.”  Every time we look upon the cross we remember the greatest work of the Lord—offering his life for us so that we can live!  This week, I invite you to stop in the church sometime and glance at our crucifix.  Pray as you look upon Jesus and remember the works of the Lord.  As I prayed in the church the first few weeks I was here, I was amazed at the artist’s work of Jesus on the cross.  I noticed that the artist depicts him being alive, with hands outstretched.  We enter into this live scene of our Lord offering His life for us.  Pray with this powerful work of art and, most of all, never forget the works of the Lord!

God’s peace and joy be with you,

Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler