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We are forced now, in this slow motion challenge, to find out some truths about who we are, what we stand for, what the nature of our character is, and whether we are willing to become what God has made us to be.

I am now daily looking at our parish data base, just names and addresses, pictures if they are there.  Church law tells me you are my responsibility, my heart tells me you are my parish family, so in your absence, this enforced absence which we firmly hope will slow the virus from overwhelming our medical system, I need to remember, to see with my mind’s eye, you my brothers and sisters, old and young, happy and sad.

See, I want my life as it was back, this new normal is awful.  I am all for the common good until it demands from me my autonomy, my sense of control, my normalcy.  But I don’t have a vote here, rather I have a choice.  I can live respecting the needs of others, especially frail and vulnerable others, or I can choose myself first.  And already I’ve felt that dissatisfaction rising in me, from anxiety, from inconvenience, from feeling overwhelmed, from losing some of what I cherish.  And I have a choice.  Feed the dissatisfaction or choose to willingly sacrifice, serve, love, to follow Jesus Christ. 

So I need the data base, God I’m weird, but it is my path to you, to put real people and families and lives in my heart, in my prayers, in my thinking so that I will willingly choose what is God’s way.  I am not quite ready to sacrifice all, I can be a small and selfish man, but I am trying to be what God made me to be.  Let’s choose to be self-sacrificial together, let’s discover then more and more who we are, what we stand for, what the nature of our character is.  Let’s choose to let this challenge be a way for us to grow, to give, to love and to live

Fr. Jim

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