You are well aware that Butler County remains a very high risk of exposure and spread (level 3) of Coronavirus.  Continue the frequent handwashing and wearing a mask when around others in public.  Also, use discretion when deciding which events to participate in.  I am very happy that the faithful are able to attend Mass again.  However, I remind you that the obligation has been waived during this time.

In today’s gospel, Jesus likens the kingdom of heaven to yeast that makes the dough to rise.  The yeast itself is something small, yet its effect permeates the entire loaf.  It is an image of the power of the gospel within a society, within a culture.  We learn from Christ the dignity of every person.  We learn from his example of love – even when it required sacrifice.  We learn from the wisdom of God’s law how to foster healthy and just relationships and a well-ordered society.  As we make his example pattern for our own lives, others are enriched.  It is important that we do not lose heart.  At times we might feel small or alone, but a little yeast leavens the whole batch, a small stone sends ripples across the entire pool.

Today begins the celebration of Natural Family Planning awareness week.  The church’s teaching on married love is a small, but difficult guide whose leaven can heal relations between men and women.  Fifty two years ago on July 25, Pope Paul VI issued his encyclical, Humanae Vitae, giving clarity to the constant, 1950 year tradition of the Church teaching that artificial contraception is contrary to God’s plan for marriage and contrary to human flourishing.  Fertility awareness based methods for family planning allow husbands and wives to discern readiness to grow their family without the use of hormonal contraceptives and the side effects they bring.

Let us pray for one another and make the love of God visible.