Every year or two I like to go off to a large gulf, sea, or lake to find out if I am able to walk on water yet. Every time I discover that for "me of little faith" it's blessing enough just to stand on the shore and feel the warm sand between my toes. After that I will write my cares and worries into the sand and watch God through the waves gracefully wash them away.
It's fun too, when I travel with other priests, to see how God provides people to take care of us while we are away. A few years ago I traveled with three other priests to California. We arrived the first evening and found an Italian restaurant for dinner. The proprietress, a classic old-style Italian woman, was so delighted to have four priests in her restaurant. She insisted we call her "Mama" and none of us went away hungry. There is an Italian word, "abbiocco," that refers to the "food coma" you get after you have had a big meal. It was as if I had never left my caring family at Nativity of Mary.
So thank you for looking after things while I am gone. May God keep our parish family thriving for generations to come.
One group I especially want to commend for helping to do that is our parish Vocations Committee. They keep on praying and thinking up new ways to inspire our young people to commit to a life of service to God – through sanctified marriage and family life, consecrated religious life, and vocations to the priesthood and diaconate.
The Vocations Committee has been coordinating here at Nativity a Traveling Crucifix prayer ministry. Families are encouraged to volunteer to take the Traveling Crucifix home and for one week to pray for vocations. One family noted, “We placed it on our kitchen table as a reminder when we gathered for meals to also pray for vocations.” Another family prayed, “each night before bed time and it was a great learning experience… to explain the importance of vocations and answering the call of God.”
So as I am traveling I am consoled to know that the Vocations Crucifix is traveling through your homes. I thank God for providing so many people to take care of me. God asks us all to care for one another – to answer His call and to devote our lives to feed one another and to help one another to grow in holiness on our most important journey – the one that leads us to heaven.