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TEN - Heppner Gazette-Times, Heppner, Oregon Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Holy Spirit as the key to obtain the
kingdom of God
By Fr. Thankachan Joseph SDB, St. Patrick Church
When you reach a house or an office there are two
things you can do: either ring the bell and wait for the
person from inside to open the door for you, or, if you
have the key, put it inside the keyhole and open the door.
Entrance to a locked house requires that it be either un-
locked from inside or unlocked from outside. (Or else you
are committing a burglary; which is evil.) The scripture
reading of the sixth Sunday of Easter is actually speaking
of Jesus as the person who opens for us the kingdom of
God and allows us to receive and Holy Spirit, the consoler
The key from outside: Jesus Christ. The lord Jesus
has shown us how to live and reach the Father in Heaven.
He has said, “He is the bread of life” (John 6: 48). “I am
the good shepherd that lays down the life for the sheep”
The key from inside: Holy Spirit. Gospel of John,
chapter 16:7-8, speaks about the Holy Spirit in these
words: “I am telling you the truth: it is for your own good
that I am going, because unless I go, the Paraclete will not
come to you. And when he comes, he will show the world
how wrong it was about sin and about who was in the
right and about judgement and about sin.” The subsequent
tension, anxiety, and fear over His departure to Heaven
are calmed by the Lord in his priestly prayer. The spirit
will show what is sin and the malice of sin. Jesus actually
presents the Holy Spirit as the Advocate who can, in fact,
intervene on our behalf. He is the comforter/helper when
we face difficulties of life. The Holy Spirit is presented
as the counselor. A counselor is the one whom we can
approach for help in times of anxiety, worry, desperation
etc., such as now when the whole universe is shaken due to
rampant spread of Covid-19. The Lord Jesus leaves with
us the counselor who can really soothe all our anxieties.
What we need to do to obtain these keys: The gospel
reading of the sixth Sunday of Easter is taken from St.
John, chapter 14:15-21, which starts with Jesus saying
to his disciples, “If you love me you will keep my com-
mandments” (15). It is, in fact, a moral instruction. As
parents, we instruct our children to follow what I tell you.
Similarly, Jesus is addressing the sheep of his flock to
adhere to him in love and to listen to his voice and follow
him. Jesus asks everyone to follow the commandments
in order to have a spirit-filled life. For example, we see
how a football match degenerates into a fight if the rules
are ignored. We see accidents on the roads when people
ignore the safety measures and road rules are disregarded.
Jesus in today’s scripture readings asks the disciples to do
two things: to love him and to obey his commandments.
First condition - Love: “Love” is one of the most
commonly used words in the world. But love is not just
what we say; it is beyond words. It is not what we feel;
it is beyond feelings. It is not what we sing; it is more
melodious than any song. For love to be what it really is,
it must have its foundation in God because God is love
(1 John 4:8). To love truly and compre-
hensively is to have a strong and steady
connection with God as the defining sup- Fr. Joseph
port, for without God, love does not exist.
Second condition - Obedience: Not once, but several
times during the last supper, Christ said these or similar
words: “If you love me, keep my commandments.” What
commandments was he talking about? Life is, in fact, gov-
erned by rules and regulations. Effective survival depends
largely upon responses to those rules and regulations.
But apart from the natural and human laws, there are
divine laws that are God’s directives and regulations for
wholesome living. Obedience to God’s commandments
is the pathway to the life one really wants to live. Jesus
reminds us that obedience is listening and acting on what
we hear. Jesus says, “I have come down from heaven,
not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me”
(John 6:38). God’s language of love is obedience, so, as
Jesus obeyed Father’s will, He pleads with us to keep His
commandments, to have beautiful lives.
If we take a close look at the Gospel of the day, we
will find certain Dos and Don’ts the Lord talks about.
However, we must understand one thing. We are not
talking about clearly defined rules and commandments,
but about guidelines and signposts He left His followers.
We are talking about a new spirit. Keeping this in mind,
looking at some of the Dos and Don’ts the Holy Spirit
teaches would not only seem to be helpful, but even
Don’ts: Do not return evil for evil. Nothing is
achieved by retaliation, except to pile darkness upon
darkness. Similarly, do not judge your neighbour. No
one knows all the facts in any particular case except God.
Therefore, leave judgement to him. The Holy Spirit will
inspire us to not condemn our neighbours. This follows
from the last. If you are not allowed to pass judgement on
your neighbours, neither are you allowed to pass sentences
on them. The spirit within you will inspire you daily not
to worry about food, and drink, and clothes, as if these
were the most important things in life. Make it your first
concern to live a life worthy of a child of God, and all
the rest will fall into place. When faced with corona and
pandemic, when times are tough, and friends can’t be
found, do not give up hope. Keep on trusting in the Holy
Spirit and in the Father.
Dos: Love your enemies. Not just friends and cronies,
because that’s easy and everybody does it, but practicing
kindness towards those you do not like or those who may
have been unkind to you is hard. But if you do it, you will
be special – the very salt of the earth. The Spirit will be
inspiring you to forgive everyone who sins against you.
Forgive, not just in words, but from the heart. If you do,
then you have nothing to fear in regard to your own sins.
God has already forgiven them. Finally, the command-
ment, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”
HES to hold Virtual Kindergarten
Roundup this year
School is hosting a virtual
Kindergarten Roundup this
year due to COVID-19.
Parents of students who are
five years old by September
1, 2020 will find a video of
the teachers and staff offer-
ing a short virtual tour and
a link to online registration
at the school’s website,
Once students are
pre-registered online, par-
ents should contact the
school office and arrange to
pick up or have delivered by
E YOUNG LOGGING, L
-Timber Management -Consulting
For all your heavy equipment needs!
-Excavator -Dump Truck
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bus route, a summer activi-
ty packet. The link for reg-
istration opened Tuesday,
May 19 and will remain
open through Thursday,
Mr. Waite, the principal
at Heppner Elementary
School, says, “All of the
staff at HES are looking
forward to the time when
we can have students in our
building once again. We are
so excited to welcome our
new students to the Colt
family this fall as they enter
kindergarten. We have the
best teachers, the best stu-
dents and the best families
in the state.”
Waite asks that students
please take the time to vis-
it the website with their
parents for the virtual tour
and a chance to meet the
teachers. Parents can then
complete a simple online
form for registration.
There will also be full
registration in the fall. Par-
ents will be asked to pro-
vide to the office at HES
their child’s birth certifi-
cate, immunization records,
phone numbers, emails and
other emergency contact
Questions and answers
regarding PPP and
By Greg Smith
Many business owners have applied
for or received funds from the Paycheck
Protection (PPP) and/or Economic Injury
Disaster Loan (EIDL). We have received
the following questions and want to share
information we hope will be helpful.
1. Q: I’ve applied for the EIDL or the PPP and have
heard nothing back yet. What do I do?
A: You may call the customer service line but be
aware there are long wait times. The number is: 800-659-
2955. For questions regarding PPP applications you may
try contacting your lender. Unfortunately, you may just
have to wait as there are tens of thousands of applications,
limited staff and amounts of money.
2. Q: I did not apply during the first go-round of
applications for the EIDL. Can I apply now?
A: At this time the EIDL is accepting applications
only from agriculture businesses. Keep monitoring the
website to see when (and if) they open it up again to
3. Q: I applied during the first round of funding but
did not hear anything from SBA. Do I need to reapply?
A: No. Existing applications will be processed on a
first come, first-served basis.
4. Q: I’ve applied for the EIDL and the loan amount
I’ve received requires collateral. I already have assets
mortgaged or with a UCC filing. Do I still qualify for
A: Yes, the SBA will take a subordinate position and
if there is no collateral available, borrowers will not be
denied the loan.
5. Q: I heard the maximum EIDL loan has been de-
creased. Is this true?
A: Yes, the most current information we have is that
the maximum loan amount for the EIDL has been reduced
6. Q: I received no notification from the EIDL regard-
ing the loan advance (grant), but the money just showed
up in my account. Is this normal?
A: Yes. They are just depositing the loan advance into
your account so monitor it frequently.
7. Q: I obtained a PPP loan and want to hire back
my employees. However, they are collecting more on
unemployment and don’t want to return. Those collecting
unemployment who turn down work stand a strong chance
of losing their benefits except under certain circumstances.
As long as you have documented their refusal to return
to work you should not be penalized and can hire new
employees to meet the required 75% threshold for loan
8. I’ve not received either the PPP or EIDL and am
self-employed. Can I apply for unemployment? Yes. Un-
der the new Pandemic Unemployment Insurance Program
(PUA), those who are self-employed, are independent
contractors, or “gig workers” can apply for unemployment
benefits. Visit www.workinginoregon.org and click the
Cares Act link in the yellow banner at the top of the page
to learn about the program and to apply.
9. What documentation does the PUA require to
apply? You are not required to provide documentation at
the time of application but will complete and sign a cer-
tification stating the information you provided is true and
correct. However, in case your application is reviewed,
you will need to have proof of your income. This would
include your tax return, 1099’s, etc.
10. As the economy opens, where can I find infor-
mation on the guidelines required for my business? Visit
https://govstatus.egov.com/or-covid-19. It will provide
you all the latest information specific to your business.
We will continue to provide business owners the most
up to date information we have and are here to assist you.
Greg Smith is the director of the Eastern Oregon
University Small Business Development Center located
at 1607 Gekeler Lane, Room 148 in La Grande, OR.
If you are seeking free, confidential business advising,
please call 541-962-1532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ZOOM & FaceBook
Bruce and Luke Young Partners
80963 Black Mountain Lane, PO BOX 98
Heppner Oregon 97836
Office phone 541-676-5309, Fax 541-676-5189
Ione Community Church
Effective June 15, 2020, the
Fire Chief of the City of
Heppner is imposing a
(Worship and Bible Study available online!
This also includes
The Wired Word Bible Study via Zoom Sundays at 9:30 am
Residents can request Natural Vegetation and
Debris Piles be burned by the
Fire Department at this time.
Sign up list for Fire Department burning
assistance is at Heppner City Hall or call
Fire Chief Steve Rhea @ 541-980-4232 or
Assistant Fire Chief Eric Chick @ 541-701-4910
The closed season will remain in effect
until further notice this fall as per ORS 478.960.
( call Pastor Jeff Clabaugh at 971-517-0548 for link)
Sunday Morning Worship on FaceBook
(search for Ione Community Church on your FaceBook page)
THIS WEEK’S NEWS AND ADVERTISEMENT DEADLINE:
(DUE TO HOLIDAY SCHEDULE)
FRIDAY AT 5:00 P.M.