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Week of July 9, 2023

A Note From Fr. Brady

Brothers and Sisters,

In the three short years in which I have been ordained, there have been ample occasions for God to do the unexpected.  The first was being ordained in the middle of Covid with only 50 people able to attend (two of whom were Frs. Gapinski and Ploof who vested me in the priestly stole and chasuble).  Another unexpected turn of God’s providence is receiving my new parish assignment here at St. Michael’s and St. Joseph’s.  Having spent time in the two parishes during my seminary formation, I wasn’t expecting to be assigned here as pastor, but God had other plans…and Bishop Neary too.  I’m very grateful for having received this assignment and I look forward to the time I’ll be given with all of you.  Thank you to all who have welcomed me so warmly.

Just as the practice of our Catholic Faith includes special feast days of the saints and various events in the lives of our Lord and Blessed Mother, each month of the year, too, has a particular religious theme traditionally ascribed to them.  July is the month dedicated to the Precious Blood of Christ.  As with the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, devotion to the Precious Blood of Christ may seem strange at first glance.  However, when we remember the significance of blood in the Sacred Scriptures, we see just how important and fitting such a devotion is.  In the Old Testament, whenever animal sacrifices were offered, the blood of the animal was of the utmost importance.  It was understood as the very life of the animal.  Since life is a complete gift from God, the blood of the animal was never drunk, but completely drained out and sometimes even sprinkled on the people.  The blood belonged to God and the sacrifice was a means of disposing God’s chosen people to repentance and covenant fidelity.

Fast-forward now to Jesus Christ, God and man, on Calvary.  He offered himself up in sacrifice not as a mere lamb, but as the Lamb of God.  He poured out every last drop of blood for our forgiveness and reconciliation to God, not wasting a single drop.  In the Blood of Christ, we see the life of God being poured out in sacrifice for love of you and me, a love that could only be expressed fully by his voluntary gift of self on the cross.  It’s the Blood of Christ that washes us of our sins in baptism and confession.  It’s the Blood of Christ that purifies us to love him and serve him as his people.  It’s the Blood of Christ that we receive in Holy Communion, whether we only receive under the species of bread alone or also under the species of wine.

May God who was pleased to reconcile us to himself through the blood of his Son grant that the power of that Precious Blood may keep us from all harm here on earth and secure us eternal gladness in Heaven.

In prayer,

Fr. Brady Keller

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