August 6, 2023

Dear Parishioners of Saint Polycarp,

August is here, and I hope you and your family have some family time during the summer. On this first weekend of August, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus. The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event, in which Jesus is transfigured and becomes radiant in glory in the presence of the three Apostles—Peter, James and John.

To God, the Transfiguration reveals the mystery of God’s world—that is, He is full of glory. Where there is God there is power and glory. To the apostles, it is a gift to support and to prepare them for the ordeal of Jesus’ death. It is meant “to strengthen their faith on that day of trial, so that remembering Jesus’ glory on the mountain they could endure his death with hope for the resurrection. And yet the scandal of the Cross was too much for them until Jesus had actually risen from the dead” (Charles Miller, Sunday Preaching, 417).

Today, we look back at the Transfiguration, and we celebrate it with the same hope and strength that the Transfiguration continues to inspire us to overcome our daily life trials and sufferings. That is, with God and in Him, nothing of this earth can hold us back, even our own death. Physical death is just a transformation from sadness or loss to eternal life in Jesus in heaven.

This weekend, our parish looks back at the presence of our newly ordained permanent deacon, Mike Betancourt, who is about to move to Fort Worth, Texas for his new employment. As we say goodbye to him, we are reminded of his growth and transformation, from being a young man in lay ministry to now being sacred minister of the Church. Mike’s presence and time with us is a gift to remind us that God’s world and His way of working is so different from ours. His expectation of us, namely His vocation for us, can come unexpectedly. Therefore, please join in me to thank Mike and to wish him and his family the best in God, as he ventures to Texas.

In addition, this weekend marks the first month of Father Saul with us. He has been wonderful to us, and especially to me. He supports me a lot in my ministry as your pastor. I am grateful for his support and friendship.

May God through the Blessed Mother, Saint Joseph, and the Patron Saint Polycarp continue to shower you with His blessings and love.

Together with my brother priests, deacons, and staff I wish you a joyful and “cool” weekend.

Father Viet Peter Ho

Pastor

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