I would think that it goes without saying that as the New Year is fully underway, events in each of our lives are better understood from the vantage point of our station in life. After a bad year in football, both in college and the NFL, we readily understand as the final moments of the season approach why these physical specimens lift weights and crush each other to the ground. Similarly, many of you are married, some are widowed or single, and the priests who serve here at St. James have our calling as well. 

I found some of the observations that Pope Francis made on November 20, 2015 to a group of priests to be pertinent to all our lives.  For married people, the Holy Father reminded everyone that in the final analysis God has created us to be husbands and wives, mothers and fathers and that, while at times we are relieved to take a break, there really is no such thing as a “Private Space.” The Father has given us a family to nurture, love and protect.  Family is what defines us.  For the priest, he will avail of time away to reenergize his spiritual commitment, but he was chosen from the people for the people, never to relish the title or the comforts of being pastor to the flock. 

The clearer the vision we have of ourselves, the easier it is to be accepting of the unexpected and whatever the new year can bring. I read an e-mail from a person with some medical concerns, which as we all know can be challenging to our peace of mind, because of course, they deal with our very existence. “He is the Author and He will tell me when to turn the page.” I found this to be a wonderful approach and good advice particularly for someone in charge of so many things, lest I would ever believe that I am flying the plane solo.  Once in a while, you will see it written: “God is my co-pilot.” Maybe there are no co-pilots, just the recipients of God’s kindness and compassion, and I just need to leave Him be.

Have a year of love and blessings in 2016.

God Bless,
Fr. John