From the desk of Fr Stephen
When I was younger, my family used to go to Montauk State Park for a few days in the summer to trout fish. It was always a nice time. In Missouri, there is a season for catching trout. It ran from about March 1st to Oct. 30th. I have gone to opening day a couple of times where there would be people everywhere trying to catch fish. There is nothing like OPENING DAY!
Today we begin the Advent Season. The first Sunday of Advent is like opening day of fishing or baseball. It is the first Sunday of the church calendar year. It is the very beginning of anticipation of the coming of Jesus once again as a babe. It is a season where we can once again open ourselves to the ongoing legacy that Jesus has left us with his life. The Advent season is a time of preparation, a being ready to experience once again God’s goodness and love in taking on human flesh by becoming one of us. What a beautiful thing to remember, i.e., how much God loves each and every one of us.
I was reading a quote recently from a saint I had never heard of before. Her name is St. Gianna Molla. She was a woman who lived in Italy from 1922-1962 and was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2004. She was a medical doctor who had become pregnant with her fourth child. When she was pregnant, she developed a malignant tumor in her uterus. The doctors gave her a choice of abortion that would save her life or cut out the tumor, which would save her child’s life and ultimately kill her. St. Gianna chose to cut out the tumor, choosing life for her child rather than for herself. The quote that I read from her life was, “Let us entrust the past to God’s Mercy and the future to God’s Providence. Our task is to live HOLY the present moment.” I like that quote a lot. Right now, many of us are afraid of all that is going on around us. Racial injustice continues to raise its ugly head and the COVID pandemic is not going away. We may wonder where our country is headed and if God is really out there. St. Gianna’s quote hopefully can put us at ease.
Do you believe God is all good? Do you believe God is all loving? Do you believe God created you so that you might enjoy the beauty of Heaven with Him for all eternity? If so, let us put away all fear and worry. Let God’s Mercy take care of the past and let God’s Providence carry us into the future. We have nothing to fear. God is with us. The only thing we have is the present. Every day God gives us a certain amount of time to do good rather than evil. As Christians, we firmly believe, even during the pandemic, God is guiding us. Our goal is to live so much in the present that nothing else matters. It only matters here and now that God is present, and so no matter how long the virus remains, let it try and do its thing. It can never conquer us because we are so rooted in God it doesn’t have a chance. Only God and his people last forever; the virus is an afterthought. Be at peace.