My dear friends in Christ,
Along my journey, God has put a number of wonderful people in my path. While our paths have taken us in different directions, quite often I will think of them and a smile will come to my face.
During this most recent lockdown (sidenote, I am ready for this to end so that we can safely return to the things that we love and are life-giving, and being with those that we love), I wrote down a number of names of those people that I have not reached out to for some time. Like many other things, if I don’t do something first thing in the day, the day gets away from me. I’ve had the good intention to reach out to a number of people, and literally, not just days but years have passed by. So, this week I made good on my intention, and reached out to one of my sales reps who I dealt with when I was working in retail, before I heard that gentle whisper and answered that call to a vocation to religious life. So, I looked up this individual’s email address, and yikes, we had last corresponded in 2013! So, I used my Fr. Greg email, and off I sent my note with all my contact information at the bottom.
The next day I was delighted to come into the office to have a voicemail message from this individual, and it was an absolutely beautiful message. That afternoon I reached out again, this time via phone, and we caught up, spoke about the pandemic of course, but other things, life-giving things as well. At that moment our paths once again merged together, and two people felt comforted, remembered, and in the most beautiful and pure sense - loved.
In our Gospel this weekend from John 15:9-17, Jesus commands his disciples to love one another. Jesus gives us the greatest example of how to love and to serve one another. As disciples of Christ, we are called to be the light of Christ to one another, and to love one another. That love can be, as I learned this past week, something as simple as thinking of someone else, and putting that thinking into action. When we do this, each in our own little way, we bear the fruit that Jesus speaks of as the branches attached to the true vine, Jesus Christ.
Here is the opportunity and challenge for us today. Don’t let this opportunity pass by and let another day get away from you. Reach out to someone that you have not spoken with for some time, for whatever reason. It will do you both a world of good. Don’t just talk about the pandemic. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to bring comfort, strength, peace, and hope to that other person. Be the light of Christ to that other person, who just may need it at this very moment in time. The result will be that it will do you both a world of good – and feel cared for, remembered, and loved.
This is putting our faith into action. I too am a work in progress. Amen.
May God continue to bless and keep safe each of you and those that you love.
From Our Pastor