A Little Bit Of Everything

6 Nov

“The beauty of the universe consists not only of unity in variety, but also of variety in unity.”  ~ Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

I couldn’t help but think about variety this week.  If you want to know the reason, just look below this column at the list of the deceased for the upcoming week.  We have a listing of representatives from deacons, priests, monsignors, and bishops. The people listed were, well, quite varied.  In many ways, the only thing they held in common was Holy Orders. But that sure is enough!

We are all different people.  We come from different walks of life.  We have different skill sets, different hobbies, different likes and dislikes.  When someone looks in at us as we worship, they may well say, “I would never consider that group of people getting together.”  But we do.

We get together to pray.  We come together to worship.  We go out together in different ministries.  We recognize the fact that we are different — perhaps extremely different — but we know that we are united in Jesus Christ and in His mission.

When we go out into the world, we do not go out representing ourselves.  We go out representing the Lord.  The wonderful mystery about that is, if we do our job right, others will see the Lord, not us, as we minister to them.  That is not only a great mystery, it is a great gift.

A couple people in this week’s list had a great effect on my life.  Bishop Grutka was the one who ordained me to the priesthood.  He and I developed a great friendship as I was beginning ministry and he was retiring from his ministry and preparing to embrace his death.

Msgr. Viater was one of the first priests to whom I was assigned.  I went to him as a deacon the year before my ordination to the priesthood.  He was the poster child for what we call a jack of all trades.  He was a man of deep prayer which moved him to service, caring for anyone whom he encountered whether it be a poor person on the streets or an incarcerated individual at Westville Correctional Center.

People come in and go in our lives and add a lot to our character.  Let’s be thankful for the gift of those who have helped to shape us throughout the years.  Let’s remember that we are also being called by God to enter the lives of others and to help shape them so that they may better embrace the Lord.

FAITH ACTIONBe thankful for those who came into your life and helped to form you.