“The most beautiful things are not associated with money; they are memories and moments. If you don’t celebrate those, they can pass you by.” ~ Alek Wek
When I came to St. Thomas More Church eighteen years ago, I “took over” one of the pages of the bulletin for my “Pastor’s Page”. In it, I planned on sharing a reflection about the weekend’s readings or about other aspects of our faith. I also intended to put a short joke in the page as well as a cartoon. Laughter is very important, you know. In addition to those components, I would use the rest of the space for various “announcements” of sorts.
One final component, and one that garnered some rather immediate feedback, was the “Remember Them” section where I would list the death anniversaries of the bishops, priests, or deacons who had served the diocese. It always seems to bring back memories to many of the parishioners of those who have served so faithfully through the years.
When I type in the list for the new bulletin, even I pause once in a while and have my memory jolted by a name. This week, I remembered someone I met when I was first ordained a priest. My first assignment was as a full time associate pastor at St. John Bosco in Hammond and full time instructor at Bishop Noll Institute.
When I came to St. John Bosco, I met Jim Cis. Fr. Cis was a retired priest, a very retired priest (that sounds better than saying a very old man.) He was always willing to help us out at the parish. He enjoyed helping us rather than other parishes because we were a short drive from where he was living.
Fr. Cis fit the old saying perfectly: “deaf in one ear and can’t hear out of the other.” There were many funny stories about his missing what someone was saying and getting into mishaps. His hearing may not have been stellar but his heart was in the right place. A kinder, gentler, humbler person you would not be able to find.
When I think about some of the bishops, priests, or deacons that are highlighted each week, I sometimes think “what are they going to remember about me?” For some, the memories might not be so good. My perfectionism leads to impatience with myself and others and that has hurt others’ feelings from time to time. I don’t always say the right thing or do the best thing. But I always try to do better.
We all have things about ourselves that make us wince. The Lord doesn’t want us focusing on those. He wants us to focus on living more like Him. If we do, He’ll take care of everything else.
FAITH ACTION: Try to live like Jesus today in word and deed.