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The Pace of Life

Our Advent Season is a time of waiting and preparation as we get ready for the coming of Jesus Christ.  It would be great if our normal lives could go on hold so we can focus on the season for a time but life continues. On top of the normal things in our lives there are extra activities for Advent and getting reading for Christmas.  The busy pace of our lives can make it difficult to enjoy the season.

Yesterday was an example of busyness for me.  I arrived in the office shortly after 8 am to make final preparations for the day.  At 10 am I joined our recently confirmed youth for reflection on the sacrament led by our departing catechetical staff person on his last day. Then we had our Advent Penance Service at 1 pm.  I heard confessions from 1:25 till 4:15 pm.  I feel privileged to hear confessions and offer guidance.  While I am doing it, the time never seems that long but I am tired afterwards. Then I presided at Mass and then a Holy Hour with Exposition.  I thought that would be the end of the day and I was tired but there was one more task to do.  The hospital called with an emergency.  So I went.  When I arrived there was a man from out of town who had been hit in the head from a bad throw at a sporting event and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and not expected to make it.  There were several family members there and more on speakerphone as we prayed. I was impressed by the faith they showed and just as impressed when they asked that our parish pray for the player who had the bad throw because he was devastated by what happened.  In the midst of their own grief, they showed concern for this stranger.  Jesus would be pleased.   Seeing this helped put everything into perspective at the end of a busy day.

Today had its share of scheduled items.  Of course, there were the two Sunday morning Masses.  Then I joined the high school youth group for a while.  It was a small group today and led by a parish volunteer filling in while we look for a new staff person.  I was pleased by the participation of the youth and good work of the volunteer. Then it was back to church to open up for the Children’s Christmas Pageant rehearsal. I didn’t have to do anything except unlock and lock up.  The rehearsal was led by the same volunteer as the youth group, this time with help from her family and some of the youth.  It was refreshing to be able and sit back and enjoy the moment instead of doing all the work.  Thank you to the volunteers.

Now, it’s time to go work on my homily for tomorrow.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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