This is Part 8 of a fifteen-part series called “The Vision of an Ideal Parish” based on an article by Dr. Peter Williamson published in 2016. This series is intended to return us to our original Faith Forward Vision.

I have been told that an earthquake in Minnesota caused some hot springs in Arkansas to stop being hot springs. Imagine that! That there is such a labyrinth of underground streams that an earthquake hundreds of miles to the North can stop water flowing hundreds of miles to the South!

But, if you think about it, what happens in nature, we take for granted in our homes. After all, doesn't the water from the faucets in our homes have its origin in Cheney Lake? Or in smaller communities, doesn't a water tower supply the water for the homes in a local community? In other words, a reservoir at a distance is the source for water through our faucets.

So it is with the sacraments. Like water through faucets, grace comes through the seven Sacraments. And just like water comes from reservoirs, so to the grace of the Sacraments come from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We call this the Paschal Mystery. We are saved because the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Paschal Mystery, has touched our souls and given us new life. But we need to ask a question: how can an event two-thousand years ago "touch" my soul today? Isn't it the past? And the answer is this: the Sacraments.

Like water flows from a reservoir through our faucets, the grace of the Paschal Mystery flows through the Sacraments into our soul. And in much the same way that the hot springs of Arkansas once had its origin thousands of miles away through invisible underground rivers, so too, the Sacraments are the visible connection to invisible rivers of grace that connect to us to the Paschal Mystery.

You see, the book of Hebrews tells us that Christ sacrifice happened in heaven, not on earth (cf. Heb 9:23-27). Since his sacrifice happened in heaven that means the grace of his life, death, and resurrection is present to all people in all times. Like the water in our homes comes from a reservoir miles away, the grace of the Paschal Mystery is gathered in heaven like a mighty reservoir and comes to our souls through the seven Sacraments.

How precious the Sacraments are to our soul! They are like faucets of grace that pour the life of Christ into our soul! What an honor it is to be able to be washed in Baptism, to be anointed in Confirmation, and to receive the body of Christ in the Eucharist! How great it is to be forgiven in Confession, strengthened by Anointing, united by Matrimony, or ordained through Holy Orders! Truly, as Jesus said, "I will be with you even unto the end of the age" (Matt 28:20), the Sacraments make that statement a Truth!

Let us rejoice in the Sacraments that are celebrated in our parish!

Father Jarrod Lies, Pastor