The Circle Of Life

28 Jul

“The living and the dead, the awake and the sleeping, the young and the old are all one and the same. When the ones change, they become the others. When those shift again, they become these again.”  ~ Heraclitus

As I looked at the list of deceased bishops, priests, and deacons that I print in the bulletin each week, I noticed several things that made me think of the circle of life. My reflections began with the death date of Bishop John F. Noll. He passed away in July of 1956. I was born in October of 1956.

Then I saw Fr. Richard Ameling’s name.  He passed away in 2008.  I seemed to “follow” him in my priesthood.  I took his parish, St. Maria Goretti, when he moved to Michigan City.  Two years later, I found myself in Michigan City with Fr. Ameling as the dean.  Years later, Fr. Ameling would go to Merrillville and I followed him by coming to Munster.  Later, I would end up becoming a dean and visited some of the topics that we had begun years before.  Another coming to full circle.

Then, I saw Fr. James McGrogan’s name.  He was famous for his wit and his sarcasm.  He had a way of making his point. I remember one rather lengthy Priests’ Council meeting.  We had belabored a point and it seemed to finally come to completion, only to have another member speak up again.  Fr. McGrogan blurted out, “It ain’t over til it’s over!” We all cracked up.

And that, my friends, is my thought for today.  We are all a part of the circle of life and it ain’t over til it’s over. When it finally does come to completion, someone else takes our place and begins all over again.  The work is always there, the names of the workers are what changes.

We are still in the beginnings of a millennium.  For the past couple of millennia, the message for us, as Christians, has been the same:  God loves us with an incredible love.  God has given His Son to us to redeem us.  Jesus loves us with an incredible, self-sacrificing love. His death and resurrection has freed us from sin and death.  The Holy Spirit is pure love and pours gifts into our lives to keep us on the road to the Kingdom and to be signposts for others so that they may see the way.

The people who have proclaimed that message are many. At one point in their lives, they turned the mission over to others.  Eventually, the mission has become ours.

FAITH ACTION:  Thank God for those who have impacted your faith in a positive way.  Now, it is your turn to inspire others to live the faith.