State of the Parish 2023 Bulletin Article

Our Collective Work of “Subversion!”

Dear Parish Family,

As your pastor, I am so proud of our parishioners and their support of our faith community!  The contributions of your time, talent and treasure further the Kingdom of God in our midst!  It is so important to remember the truth that God is with us, even in the midst of the chaos and confusion in our world.  Despite the wars going on, the bitter division that false ideologies sow, and the great suffering and injustice that can often overwhelm us personally, God is with us!  He has not abandoned us!  

This is the quiet, yet subversive work that God does in and through St. John Parish and in faith communities in which Christ is present throughout the world!  Yes, God’s quiet presence in the sacramental life of the Church, the work we do in Jesus’ name, and the faith we live in the world are subversive!  It subverts the hopelessness and despair that afflicts so many today through the purpose and peace that only God can bring.  It subverts the division of the human family with the love and unity found in the triune God.  It subverts the subjugation and tyranny of Satan and his demons that terrorize both individuals and the institutions of our world with the healing of the Divine Physician and the truth that sets us free!

All of this work of subversion happens at our parish because Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, is made present.  He is made present in our prayer, worship, and the sacraments and thus in his people (you and me!), who subversively bring faith, hope, and love into Jackson and beyond, drawing more and more people into God’s healing and redemption.  That is the quiet, yet subversive way that Jesus is bringing about the Kingdom of God!  God’s love will outlast the evil that will eventually cave in on itself, and what will remain is the love of God that perdures for eternity, the pledge of which is given and made known to us by the presence of Jesus in our parish life.

Yes, there is a battle going on, a spiritual battle for the souls of humanity.  But the Lord has made clear how we are to fight the good fight: “Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”  As you look through these pages of our State of the Parish report, see in them the collective efforts of the Body of Christ (again, you and me!) at St. John and the stewardship of the resources God has given us to proclaim and fulfill the Kingdom of God right here in Jackson!

 When God came among us as man in Jesus Christ, he proclaimed that “the Kingdom of God is at hand!”  That is true because the very presence of Christ the King is the presence of God’s Kingdom.  As Jesus promised before his Ascension, “I will be with you until the end of the age!”  Friends, until the consummation of history, we are in the time of fulfillment.  Until Christ comes again, Jesus working through the members of his Body is the means by which that fulfillment is brought about.  Let us do our part, as the friends of God, to “make known the glorious splendor of his Kingdom!”

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Chas Canoy