“LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO??” said the apostles in today’s Gospel. It’s the 5th and last section of the Bread of Life series we get every 3 years. We missed last week’s installment for the wonderful feast of Mary’s Assumption. In that one, Jesus emphasized repeatedly that “you must feed on me—my flesh and blood.” In fact these words were repeated in a kind of mantra: food eat life drink flesh blood remain . And many were scandalized by the words, and left, prompting Jesus to ask the disciples, almost sadly and plaintively, “Do you want to leave me too?”
Wisely, they answered, as above, “Lord, to whom shall we go? We have come to believe.” Have we? This is a clearly evangelizing Gospel, and a challenge to us. Of course we’d say the same: there’s no one else who offers us life. But there are many things, and even people, that we do turn to, perhaps sometimes to excess. Our habits, our appetites, free use of anger, political attachments that exceed our faith attachment—all can be a “to whom” that mean we’ve drifted away from him in whom we’ve come to believe. Fantastic end to a special mini-season.
The busy-ness of the parish is in full swing. I remember when Labor Day was the re-start of a parish’s activities and organizations. Everything has advanced a couple of weeks. I’ll give brief recaps:
The new Parish Council had a great initial session last Tuesday, an orientation night led by a consultant and including a good work session. We heard about each other’s styles, gifts, and visions. It’s an excit- ing group that is planned to cohere as a group for three years. I’ve already entrusted a number of important parish issues to them for reflection.
School started with a great Retreat day by the faculty and myself at Pallottine, led by Jen Meehan, our Director of Parish Faith Formation. It was a great gelling of a pretty new group, many first timers to our school or even to teaching. They gathered here the next day for Mass, and I joined them again at breakfast. There’s something tangible among this faculty, optimism and joy and interest in working with each other. The School Board also started its new year Tuesday, again with new members. One is a man new to the school with 3 kids in school who just wanted to participate. The actual start of school is a day off from this writing so I’ll remark on it next week.
Msgr. and I met with the Knights on Monday night. Two council officials were there to receive four new members, and I and others there were also introduced to the 2nd and 3rd Degree. The men have a great spirit and are expected to have a strong sacramental and prayer life.
I’m meeting shortly with the Ladies Guild, and I look forward to seeing what they have planned.
One more note: We continue to get a surprising, and delightful, flow of Baptisms to arrange, from newborn to a few years. I’m delighted, but we’re having to figure a process to prepare the parents and schedule the ceremony. One actually got messed up and has to be rescheduled. So I just want to emphasize, if you e-mail us to inquire about Baptism, that’s a good start; then we need a phone conversation to make sure we understand each other, and call again two or three days before the scheduled ceremony so we all agree. These many initiations of little ones are a great outlook for our parish.