September 10, 2017

Cast into the Deep (September 10)
God Never Abandons Us
Fr. Rolly Astudillo – Pastor
First of all, I invite you to join me in solidarity with those who were and are still affected by the La Tuna Canyon Fire in the past weekend. Here in Tujunga, we suffered large out-of-control fires that were intimidating, overpowering and frightening. Yet, God is truly great. He has not abandoned us.
Recalling the events of the past weekend still causes us pain. We can still imagine a verdant mountain now covered by ashes and blackened by the fire. The images are still so fresh in our minds of the flames engulfing our mountain with such speed and of choppers hovering over the flames to control them. We recall the heroism of the firefighters as they battled the flames. These fire fighters and those who aided them with food and refreshments are heroic. So are the police officers who sought to save lives, provided security and notified people of the evacuation orders. We can’t thank them enough for the risks they take, for the dedication they show, for the sacrifices they make, especially in those days.
Many of our parishioners had to evacuate from their homes, leaving behind their belongings without knowing if their homes would be standing upon their return; others were on high alert to the possibility of it; while so many others stood watching the blaze from outside their homes.
These are the times when we need to feel God’s presence so we don’t feel alone and hopeless. Sadly, we also have John and Ingrid Goodman, parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes, and their neighbor who lost their homes. Our hearts go out to them for their loss. Let us remember that in the face of this tragedy, we also felt God’s love and strength. He gave us comfort and strength and protected us while guiding the weather and the hands of the brave firefighters to maintain and keep this monster at bay. Just like when he was in the boat, Jesus tamed the wind and the waters. These are the times when we need those memories to find hope that He is there to watch over us.
These are also the times that we come together as a community, when we are there for each other to show support and offer up whatever is needed. This is how we love God by loving and taking care of each other through these tough times when we need the love and support of one another.
Nature can be brutal, and we don’t always understand why things happen or the purpose for some things, we can only remember that there is a reason for everything that happens and remember that God has a plan for all of us, though we may not always agree with it.
Remember to reach out and offer your help to your neighbor, either today or anytime in the future when the occasion arises, don’t hesitate, don’t think about it. Let’s just do it. We never know when force of nature will strike again and we must be prepared at whatever comes our way.
The Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes and Fatima, will always be there to intercede for us and watch over us.
Blessings and my prayers for all of you.