I began with the children’s book: The Brand New Kid by Katie Couric. (Scholastic Inc.)
After the book: I think the message of the book is that there are just a few words between encountering a stranger – and having a new friend. The kingdom of God is built one person at a time – one kind word at a time. . .
St. Paul in our second reading from the Ephesians said:
All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [Now this doesn’t sound like any family or parish we know of – does it?]
Paul continues by saying:
And be kind to one another: compassionate and forgiving.
This is how we are to treat one another in the Body of Christ – and it begins one person at a time.
It’s not always easy – and we are able to do it only because we have received and have been strengthened by the Bread of Life – that Jesus gives us in the Eucharist.
And incidentally, that’s why we treat each other with respect – because we are all little tabernacles carrying the presence of Christ within us. . .
Another Matthew Moment:
If it is true that good things come in twos – then I have some things going for me:
-when was asked by Bishop Johnston to come to St. Patrick – it was the second time a bishop asked me to move when I wasn’t quite ready to move: 1st time when Bishop Finn asked me to move from Holy Family to Odessa & Oak Grove
-My second time, then, in the Northland – as Holy Family is just up the street a bit.
-The second time I have followed Robert Stewart as pastor – the first time was when I followed him at Holy Family.
-the second time I’ve had a connection with St. Patrick school. I’m sure it isn’t often when a former teacher comes back 25 years later to be the pastor. . .
-my second time at a parish which had St. Patrick as its patron – 1st time was St. Patrick in St. Joseph.
- 2nd time with a school – as St. Patrick in St. Joseph had a school.
And just incidentally – some of my closest friends today I first met at St. Patrick –
Fr. Mike Roach, of course – but he had his priest support group over once while I was teaching – and so I met Fr. Rick Dierkes, who is now deceased, here at St. Pat’s — and Fr. Lloyd Opoka.
I certainly want to thank you for welcoming me to St.
Patrick in a much better way than Lazlo was first greeted
at his new school. You have been very welcoming, very
understanding and patient as I’ve gotten settled in – and
I just look forward to spending some great quality time
with you as we continue to build the Kingdom of God
here at St. Patrick. . . .