In my 37 years of ministry I have never received as many Cards, well wishes, and acts of generosity as I have this Birthday/Christmas/New year Season. I am truly thankful to you and grateful to God for you.
It is hard to believe that it is already a year and a half since I arrived. Much has happened in this time and many projects are in the works – both for repairing or bringing up to standard the physical plant as well as developing new areas of ministry and service within our parish community.
I believe I have a ‘strong feel’ for the parish, with its unique charter and charisms as well as the direction in which God is leading us. In that light -certain decisions had to be made, some involving individuals. Certain decisions are still in process. I ask for your prayers that I always put the needs and the good of the parish first before individual ones.
After mass last week several of you asked for a copy of the list of lessons learned from the Magi story I used in my homily (as they apply to our daily lives) so, here you go:
–Pay attention inside and out. Watch for the stars and other markers around you, as well as the movements within you. Nature is a part of God – God speaks to us through it constantly.
–Set out although the destination is a long way off. Set out even if you aren’t sure what the destination is.
–Be Not Afraid to take that first step – even if it is a leap in faith.
–Don’t go it alone. Seek good company for the road. We are made for community, we are not rocks or Islands.
–Sometimes you may feel lost, frustrated, homesick, exhausted. Sometimes you may start to doubt the wisdom that guides you. Keep going anyway. Hindsight still remains a constant 20/20
–You have many gifts. Offer them. God has already given you what He needs you to share. God loves a cheerful giver.
–Cross boundaries. Leave behind the worn-out ways and places that no longer serve. Enter into new territories.
–Be alert to forces that deceive and cause harm. When prudence dictates, change course.
–Welcome strangers. Welcome foreigners. Welcome the new person you are becoming, your new family, new community, and the new world forming.
–When you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way, this is an Epiphany. Bow down before the Holy, do homage. Pray.
–Let yourself be overjoyed. Don’t hold back.
–And finally – – Come home a different way. The journey home can be as enlightening, illuminating and edifying as the journey there.
God bless and keep you,