After many months of prayer, meetings, planning, fundraising, etc., the Memorare Center is beginning the construction phase! Like a seed that needs time to germinate before it sprouts, all of you have been waiting and waiting for this ‘sprouting’ day to come. While I was not here during this germination time, I am truly excited to be here during the ‘sprouting’ or construction phase. If you didn’t hear it last weekend, part of my background is in construction, as I have a Construction Engineering degree from the University of Akron. So I am excited for the days ahead!
I can remember the first day of my internship at the City of Akron Engineering Bureau. We received two major items that day. We received the blueprints for our job and something called a Spec Book, or Construction Specifications Book. They told us, if you don’t know the blueprints or the Spec book, you won’t be able to build anything. And they were right. By being open to the plans, I was able to understand what needed done and help guide others along the way.
In our gospel this Sunday, Jesus speaks about the importance of being open to God’s Word. In a real way, God’s Word is our blueprint, God’s Word provides the guidance we need to help build the kingdom of God here and now. He says, “the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” Each and every one of us are called to daily open up our minds and hearts to God’s word and strive to understand it the best we can. In doing so, we will bear great fruit!
One of the positives that came out of the pandemic for me was adopting the practice that Fr. Larry Richards often preaches: “No Bible, no breakfast; no Bible, no bed.” It truly is a game changer as it invites us to better open up our lives to the message of hope that is God’s Word! Perhaps this summer can be a great time to try to live this practice yourself so that you never lose sight of God’s plan in your life.
On a side note, I am always amazed at how God continues to work in our lives. Little did I know that I would ever get to use my construction background after I entered the seminary. It seems like no matter where I am sent to serve, some sort of construction is going on. And now, six days into this assignment a construction project begins! It is like God is saying, I will continue to use all your gifts, background and knowledge that I have given you for the building up of God’s kingdom. Nothing is ever wasted with God. It may be a good time to reflect on your own life experiences and the gifts that God has given you. Where do you see God inviting you to share those gifts?
As we enter into this construction phase of the Memorare Center, a center of peace, hope and joy for our community, I’d like to thank you for all the support you have offered thus far. I ask that you continue to support us, primarily through your faithfulness to prayer. I know the construction will go smoothly if we continue to pray. I encourage each and every one of you to pray the Memorare Prayer daily for a successful completion of this project. Pray also for all who will approach that center once it is built that they will receive the warmth, compassion and hope that only the Lord can bring.
Lastly, I want to personally thank you for your warm welcome to me last weekend. It was a joy to meet you! I look forward to meeting more of you in the days ahead.
God’s joy and peace be with you,
Fr. Jeremy Merzweiler