God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Story That Never Goes Away From Me

I wish to share a story of much importance in my life!  Jimmy jumped up and down with excitement.  The circus was coming to his town, his first experience with the Big Top.  By saving his newspaper earnings, little Jimmy bought his ticket to the circus on the last night of its showing.  As he wandered through the thrilling world in tent city, he saw the tallest man in the universe, a fire eater, the magician, and a host of spellbinding happenings.

When he came home that night, tired and mind boggled, his father asked him about the center ring, the place of the greatest attraction in the circus.  Sad to say, Jimmy knew nothing about the goings-on under the Big Top because he had spent all his time in the side shows.  Now the circus was gone.

In my past years, oftentimes I would give myself so much to the Lord’s work that I would forget the Lord behind the work.  Yes, I would wonder why I was lacking in peace of heart, so short tempered and despondent.  Then this story came to my mind and with it, the answer to my wonderment.  I was in the side shows of life and missing out on life’s main event in the center ring – Jesus of Nazareth.

While living in the side shows of life, innocent as they were, the Face of Christ became a blur to me.  He no longer was a commanding Presence that I often turned to in prayer.  In some mysterious way, He retreated into the background and lost His influence over me.

Like a good friend, my little story above reminded me to bring the Lord back into my close friendship; to give Him my direct attention before all other happenings in my daily life.  Jesus of Nazareth came alive for me as I realized how much He deserves my love and dedication.  What were the side shows compared to Christ, the Messiah?

Why do we pray and sacrifice during Lent?  Simply, we don’t want to get so lost in the side shows of life – family matters, social activities, our work that these daily activities make us miss out on the best experience of life: Jesus, the young preacher from Nazareth.  What a tragedy it would be to discover this on Judgement day!

During these last weeks of Lent, we can turn our hearts, our minds and our souls towards Jesus with three simple vows: To Follow Christ more nearly, to Love Him more dearly and to See Him more clearly!  Yes, time and time again, the story of Jimmy and the Circus has been a light of wisdom on the glory road for me.

Fr. George McKenna

March 10, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , | 1 Comment

A Thoughtful Friend

Each new sunrise is a new opportunity to share a random act of kindness!

Some years ago, on a hot summer day, I found myself in Central Italy on a slow moving train, one with no dining car.  Early that morning, I had boarded the train in the City of Florence with the hope of reaching Turin, a far northern Italian city, that evening.  Across from me in my compartment sat a genial, elderly American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Moore from Kansas.

In our conversation, Mr. Moore, a sculptor, seeing that I was a Catholic Priest, mentioned his latest working in designing the copper biblical tracings on the huge front doors of the new Cathedral in San Francisco.  Such a work ranked him among the top American sculptors.

Later, towards noon, with pleasant goodbyes, the couple left the train at the small town of Carrara, the center of the famous Italian quarries.  At that point, I suddenly experienced a hunger and thirst for food with no prospect of getting any nourishment until late in the evening.

As the train began to pull out of the station, Mr. Moore came running up to the open window of my compartment with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine.  He thrust them into my arms with a smile and a wave of his hand.  Mr. Moore moved out of my immediate life, but never out of my memory through the years.  What a generous and thoughtful person he proved himself, to provide me with nourishment for the long trip still ahead.  No bread ever tasted so good!

At the time I thought of the kindness of Jesus of Nazareth in giving His friends Food and Drink to strengthen them on the long journey through life.  In this pilgrimage on earth, the traveler experiences a deep hunger and a thirst for nourishment of the spirit.  Suddenly, the traveler comes upon the Genial Christ who thrusts into his hands Eucharistic Food, given out of a spirit of love!

Even though Mr. Moore, the gifted sculptor, had fashioned splendid doors for the entrance of God’s House in San Francisco, he still had time to feed a stranger in a country place.  Likewise, Jesus, the Architect of Life, opened the doors of His Father’s House with His self-sacrificing death.  But still, He did not lose touch with the hunger of His ordinary people. 

Fr. George McKenna

March 3, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 2 Comments