Friday, September 21, 2012

Following Without Hesitation

from Today's Mass Reading from EWTN Matthew 9:9-13

9As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
10And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
11And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
12But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."

It should have been a tough call. From the looks of it, Matthew had a pretty good life going on. Jesus said, "Matthew, come follow me!" Matthew didn't ask questions, he just followed. I imagine his friends, fellow tax collectors, frowned on his new relationship. Certainly, Jesus' observers took exception to his new friend. While it is uncertain, tradition suggests he was martyred for Christ so it was not a choice without any eventual and immediate consequences. Had he continued on his initial path, Matthew would have enjoyed a much more profitable and pain-free life--by the world's standards. We certainly have been blessed by Matthew's ability to recognize what God wanted him to do and to do so without hesitation. I am sure Matthew concurs that it was the right choice.

     To always be so certain when the road is difficult; Saying Goodbye to Bishop Vann

On my way to Mass this morning, I heard about our local Bishop, Bishop Vann, and his immediate transfer to lead the people of the Diocese of Orange County in California. It is with a heavy heart I see him go. He is a personal favorite in our family. A pastoral Bishop, my baby girls learned how to properly communicate with a bishop by watching him walk the halls of our church. OK, maybe not properly, I may never be able to see Bishop Vann without thinking of my baby practicing, over and over again, "Good afternoon, My Tushie." Also, a strong advocate of all life, we will miss his undying work on behalf of the unborn.

However, I can see how the Holy Father found him a good choice. He communicates fluently in Spanish--sometimes switching back and forth between the two languages in the same mass...even the same paragraph! Like Ft. Worth, Orange County has a huge Hispanic population. Our church, if not our country, needs to acknowledge the impact that the largely Catholic Hispanic population brings to our country.  

While I am sad to see Bishop Vann go, I am sure Bishop Vann is not completely happy with the decision either, leaving the comfort of the familiar and comfortable is never easy, I am happy he continues to follow the will of God and the Holy father without hesitation. I am encouraged by it. I have struggled with our relocation to Texas from the familiarity of Pennsylvania. I struggle with the loss of the community we grew up with and began raising our children in. I question whether people are meant to move about the country toward opportunity or for the will of God, or if it is right to stay with family for the sake of family. In times of uncertainty, I always cling to home. I face fear, which is obviously not of the Lord, and hesitate in setting down roots. I understand that we are to live in the moment, but its hard to embrace my life if I am not sure this is where we belong. Is the only thing that ties us to TX Shawn's job and is that enough? I would love to hear your thoughts on this. You can reply here, or right at the Dwell in Glory Facebook page...Please "Like" us while you are there!!

So, on this feast of St. Matthew, I pray for our beloved Bishop Vann, who goes with the prayers of all the faithful in the Diocese of Ft. Worth. God Bless you...

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