Come Away & Rest

The Links of Fr. Andrews – July 22, 2018

His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. ~ Mark 6:34

Grace to pray for this week: To hear the instruction of the Master Teacher

Dear Friends,

We extend a warm welcome to anyone visiting our church this weekend. Your presence means a lot to us. If you are passing through we wish you safe travels. Perhaps you are new to Norfolk and are looking for a church to call home. Stop by our Information Desk at Church. We’re honored to assist you in any way possible.


The Gospel this weekend is a perfect fit for summer. Jesus invites his followers to “come away…to a deserted place and rest a while.” In a world where technology is consistently present, more and more people are looking for an escape. There’s a big difference between reading about the world second hand through a screen and encountering life personally.

Human beings have an amazing capacity to receive input via the senses. Life becomes multi-dimensional and vibrant when we allow every sense to be engaged. Sometimes it can be difficult to detach from the internet because it affords such quick stimulus. However, deep down I believe we know that we’re missing out living this way.

Suggestion: live local. The world is a big place filled with billions of people but we can’t live everywhere. An abundant life means blooming where we are planted. Every day we can be fully alive through encounters with our family and community. Books are better than screens. Sharing stories verbally breeds life. Exercise is its own reward. Cooking fresh food gives health to the body. Prayer brings peace to the soul.

Psalm 23 comes between the readings this weekend. You’ve heard it many times, but I invite you to pray with it this week. Give the Lord a chance to show you the place of peace he wants to lead you to. Let’s not accept any substitutes for the real life God offers.


It’s never too early to hear about our next Discovering Christ (DC) course. DC is an easy way to hear the message of the Gospel in a casual atmosphere. Please visit our website for more details. We’d love to have you join us and I think you’ll be glad you did.

God love you!

  • Less noise often leads to hearing God’s voice.

Happy 4th of July

Happy Independence Day!

Better known as the 4th of July these days,  Independence Day began in 1777, just one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed, as a time set aside to celebrate the birth of our nation rooted in certain founding truths.  Despite a multitude of cultures, it’s become a day for everyone in our country to come together and celebrate as One Nation, Under God.

What a fitting model for us to reflect on as we try to live out our pastoral priority of One Church, One People.  There are many beautiful examples of this happening, from our Kermes Celebration last weekend to our 11:30 Bilingual Mass each weekend over the past month.

I’d like to extend the following thank you and encouragement to everyone in our parish in helping us come together more as One People.

*Just a quick reminder that this weekend we will celebrate Mass in Spanish at 1 pm at Sacred Heart Church.

“I will make you fishers of men.”

Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. ~ Mark 1:17
Grace to pray for this week: To see a bigger picture of what church can be
Dear Friends in Christ,
Peace be with you! A hearty welcome to everyone, especially those visiting us for any reason, whether in person or through technology. Your presence is a gift.
So did you hear it? There’s so much urgency in the scriptures this past weekend:
    “Set out for the great city of Nineveh…and announce the message” (Jonah 3)
    “…the time is running out.” (I Corinthians 7:29)
“The kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15)
In a busy world, this type of urgency may not be welcome. But it all depends on how you look at it. When Jesus begins his public ministry he starts by getting to know just a handful of people. You would think that he’d just find a way to announce the arrival of the kingdom to every person on earth at once. Instead, he chose a surprising approach – get to know a few people really well and then have them pass it along to someone else. The result? 2000 years later there have been billions of Christians. Jesus knew what he was doing.
This past week our parish experienced a first hand look of this through Reboot with Chris Stefanick!  We heard and saw how the Holy Spirit moves hearts through friendship and invitation.   Each of us, and collectively as a parish, is called to do exactly what we hear about in the Gospel this weekend. Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John out of their daily job and into mission. By this point they had already met him but now he was inviting them to a life-changing decision. Jesus would make it clear that there could be no “in between” – it was time to choose.
If you were able to help someone find an answer to the biggest questions in life wouldn’t it be worth it? Even if you could help just one person. That changed life could change many other. That’s what we want to do here in an intentional way at Sacred Heart Parish. God is helping us build a “way of life” or “roadmap” that will guide every part of the life of our church.
Our goal is to help people meet Jesus and then make a personal decision to make him the center of their life. Our way of life here will guide the steps toward this moment and the life flowing from it.
God love you!
* Right now, God is ready to say beautiful things to you.