If you have a sore throat or a bad cold this time of year, you will surely talk to someone who will remark, “It is going around, a lot of people are sick in the office.” Our Lord will remark that He has come to us precisely because it is the sick who are in need of the physician. Whether my own family, my place of work or our community of Faith that we call Parish, it seems that coming to terms with betrayal, imperfection or sinfulness in others is a permanent challenge to all of us. People leave parishes because they deem the priest to have offended them in some way or have been scandalized by his behavior, some family members are ignored by others because of some event in the past. There seems to be a story that illustrates this point in any family group you talk to, whether faith based or domestic. Perhaps, sensing that this would always be the case for most of us, Christ wisely encourages us to see the demon in our own lives before wandering thoughts as to the weaknesses of others. This is why, when I recently read some comments by a fellow priest as to human weakness in others at its worst, I found his observations to be poignant and precise. But I also believe that his observations apply to anyone who is Christ’s disciple, not just ordained clergy. It helps me understand that if we are on the same train of life with other people, we had better be accepting of human failure, in whatever color or shape I encounter it.  This priest inquires:  “What if the priest is egregiously sinful, is it still Christ coming into my home? After all, he can never lose the gift of the Holy Spirit given to him on ordination day.” In a reference to Thomas à Kempis in his book, ‘the Imitation of Christ’, he says, “He can absolve me of my sins, whether he is sinful himself or not. If he was the last priest available to me, I would crawl on my belly to receive the treasures he offers me.” Imagine for a moment that you woke up this past Monday, January 11, and your name is Blair Walsh, you live in Minnesota, and your next game is not in Arizona, because you were wide left on a field goal from 27 yards?  And we think we have problems because the in-laws are visiting for two weeks or because these new people have an accent?

God Bless,
Fr. John