We welcome people from all denominations and locales to this parish.  Saint Michael's is a strong, faithful and growing intergenerational congregation whose ministries are enriched by visitors and parishioners.  Whether you are here for a week, a season, or year-round, we welcome you to this household of faith and we invite you to make this your home.

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A Message From Our Priest-in-Charge

Friday, July 10, 2020

REFLECTION

Can we still be happy despite our circumstances?  I came across an article in AARP The Magazine about happiness in hard times (I know it’s hard to believe, but I am over 55).  One of the illustrations in that story concerned Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Every time a corona virus patient was discharged or recovered enough to breathe without a ventilator the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” was played over the hospital sound system.  If you don’t remember the song, click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQetemT1sWc.  It’s a happy tune with happy words – the sun will return after the longest of winters.  One doctor in the hospital said that the reminder provided by the song that people were recovering gave everyone the opportunity to feel good for a moment.  Dr. Maria Sirois said, “The happiness that helps in great difficulty is realistic.  It recognizes fears and anxieties.  It looks for meaning.  It nourishes and sustains us.”  Interestingly, it was written and recorded during a time of stress and tension among the Beatles.  In fact, the day this song was recorded was the last time the four Beatles were ever in a recording studio together.

What about happiness for us?  Happy songs will certainly make us feel better for a bit, but they’re not a long-term corrective.  And so, we turn to Scripture, because we know that our happiness, and more importantly our joy, are founded within our faith.  Some translations render the word in the beatitudes as happy rather than blessed.  While that is a legitimate translation, being happy, in English, is not the same as being blessed.  Rather, happiness is a byproduct of being blessed.  Recognizing that we are blessed is not dependent on our present circumstances, however unpleasant they may be.  From Matthew, Chapter 5, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  That is not only Jesus’ prescription for being blessed, and for the happiness that attends blessing, but it is his promised to us.  As we live in the Kingdom of God, and are obedient to Christ, we will be blessed, and more than happy, we will be filled with Joy.  His promise!

 

Blessings,
Alan+ 

 


 

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