When tasked with coming up with a name for the campaign I suggested the title – Blessed is the Fruit Campaign. It was inspired, obviously, by a line from the first chapter of St. Luke’s gospel – a line which we pray regularly whenever we pray the “Hail Mary” prayer.
It is a line that points us to Jesus. Jesus is the Blessed Fruit that came from the Virgin Mary’s womb. It is also a line that reminds us that there truly is blessed fruit that comes to all of us when we offer our hearts and all of our lives to Him.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve chose fruit that would not bring them blessedness but instead curses and death. Here at Nativity of Mary we are given the joy of choosing and receiving Jesus, the Blessed Fruit, who brings us blessings and life – and then helps us to bear blessed fruit for God’s Kingdom.
I was reminded that the last time I was reassigned, from my previous parish at Epiphany in Coon Rapids, that parish also was beginning a capital campaign. In one of my last messages to that parish I wrote that I felt like Moses. I had journeyed with the people and just when the Promised Land was in sight I was not allowed to enter in with them.
Yet, as Moses said to the people of Israel in his final blessing to them, “How fortunate you are, O Israel! The Lord is your saving shield, and his sword your glory… as you stride upon the heights” (Deuteronomy 29:33).
A new promised land and promised time is before you, Nativity of Mary. Though I will not be able to enter into the new chapter of this parish’s life will all of you, much of my remaining time here is being devoted to ensuring that in three years, when the Blessed is the Fruit Campaign is over, the parish debt will be retired and Nativity of Mary will be stronger financially, structurally, and spiritually.
Onward and upward, Nativity of Mary! Join me in hope that there will be much blessed fruit to come through all of our offerings of love.