Welcome to Saint Paul Church, Hamilton and Wenham.
The Church is such a great gift as the living sacrament of Christ’s presence among us. From the shores of Lake Galilee and the bark of Peter’s fishing boat some twenty-one centuries ago Christ communes with us through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
As the living presence of Jesus Christ we find through the Church our meaning and strength as we seek the Father and His Kingdom. What is the meaning of life? It is to know and rest secure that we have been made in the image and likeness of God for a divine destiny. The initial question of the Baltimore Catechism captures it well. Why did God make me? He made me to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever in heaven.
How does the Church supply the strength we need? It is through our sacramental participation. Christ cannot force himself upon us, but so much wishes access to our lives. The sacraments strengthen us in body and soul and allows Christ, who knocks at the garden door of our hearts to enter.
It is through the Holy Eucharist that our life of prayer and service are sustained. Pope Benedict in his beautiful encyclical letter Sacrament of Love said:
…from the beginning the Christian community has gathered for the breaking of the bread on the Lord’s Day. Sunday, the day Christ rose from the dead, is also the first day of the week, the day which the Old Testament tradition saw as the beginning of God’s work of creation. The day of creation has now become the day of the “new creation,” the day of our liberation, when we commemorate Christ who died and rose again (113).
It is through Holy Mass that the ongoing work of God’s recreation takes place. Sacrament makes Calvary present and through the true presence of Jesus Christ on the altar, our lives are offered back to God the Father. In no other way can we do this and in this extraordinary act of worship the graces of our redemption granted to us from the Cross are now made present. This will help us in our vocations to be good spouses, parents and people and a good faith model for our children as we humbly ask God aid us. The Lord’s Day and all of the other many wonderful works accomplished at St. Paul’s must be rooted in our dependence and love for the Lord.
I welcome you to full participation in our parish life. All of you have a remembrance in my prayers at the altar.
Father Michael Lawlor