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What Will God Say To Me Today?

Fr. McKenna is now recovering at home thanks to all the prayers and love he has received.  He feels blessed.  Thank You ALL!!!

Some 42 years ago, while reading a national Catholic newspaper, I came upon a 6-line advertisement in the back pages: “The Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska needs priests to serve in his missionary diocese. If interested, contact the Bishop of Fairbanks, Alaska.”

From my early days in the Seminary, I had wished to be a missionary priest, but circumstances beyond my control had kept me from realizing this dream. Knowing that this was my last chance to serve as a missionary in the Church, I immediately contacted Bishop Whelan of the Fairbanks Diocese by telephone and spoke to him from his hospital bed in Seattle, Washington, where he was recuperating from a recent operation.

As a result, a few months later on June 29, 1976, with the permission of the Archdiocese of Chicago, I found myself stepping off a Boeing 7373 from Anchorage Alaska, in a small community of Bethel in far western Alaska, a town of 3,000 people of which 70% were Eskimos.

A few lines in a newspaper had changed the course of my life, uprooting me from a comfortable big-city life style to the simple life of the “Last Frontier”, with no running water or indoor plumbing. I have never regretted the decision I made in answering this advertisement which I thought came from God to me.  Stimulating, challenging experiences came to me in my time in Alaska.  Happenings which would never have taken place in 100 years in Chicago.  Separated from family and friends, I came to see life in a new and refreshing way.

What will God say to me today? If a believer in God starts off the day with this attitude, he could invite stunning, earth shaking ideas into his life.  Perhaps the Lord will whisper something that will completely change the life style for many years.  In some simple way, by means of a letter, a conversation, a telephone call, a book, a TV program, a newspaper article, or just by sitting in calm silence reading scripture, God will communicate His secrets to His followers.

Elijah looked for the Lord in the strong wind, an earthquake and fire, yet found him in a light whisper but then hid his face. Start out each morning with expectation, “What does God wish to tell me today?”  He will speak and inspire you through common, everyday experiences.   Be ready to follow through on any wholesome message that could give a new zest to one’s way of life.  This requires courage and willingness to take risk.  And when you hear His call – don’t hide, take action!  

Fr. George McKenna

August 18, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 7 Comments

Needed – Good Samaritans

My Great Grand Niece Margaret Elizabeth will be baptized Sunday. Her sister Sophie gives her a loving kiss and embrace. We can all learn from their tenderness and innocence.

One day, a young boy was walking along the ocean shore. He kept bending down and picking up little sea creatures, left behind by the receding tide. Without water, these tiny fish would die quickly. The youngster flung them far out into the ocean. A passerby cynically remarked to the boy, “What difference will it make? There are still hundreds and hundreds you will never reach!” While in the act of throwing one of the sea urchins, the child answered, “It will make a big difference for this little fish!”

Through the years, this story has helped me keep focused on the individual! Instead of dreaming of bringing large groups of people to the Lord, I concentrated on the one person before me. This attitude kept me from the temptation of despairing at the sight of so much suffering and indifference to God among the communities I worked in. Help one person to love God and that individual will reach out to others in need of God.

Be aware of the “rippling effect”! Throw a stone in the water and notice the waves moving out in all directions. If we do an act of mercy or kindness for another, the effects of this are far reaching. Before the advent of my Blog, a friend in my apartment complex would send copies of the airport bulletin I created for Midway Airport to friends across the USA. One of these friends, Mrs. John Wayne, the widow of movie actor, John “Duke” Wayne wrote back her thanks! Keep them coming was Mrs. Wayne’s message. Now, this humble little Blog reaches out across the world. Slowly readers like you are sharing this message with others, and in turn, those reach out to even more.

Recent events show us the importance of sharing the message of this Jesus of Nazareth with those close to us. We can’t reach across the country to Virginia, but we can reach across our table, across our street, to our neighbor. One person at a time, and let the “Rippling Effect” take over.

Every month I personally give a small amount of money to some charities, especially those which help children. At times, the temptation comes to me to stop because of the smallness of my donation. Then I think that if a thousand other people would give the same small gift, the total sum would be great. I go on! Like small sums of money combined together, how powerful would single words of love and appreciation combined together and shared with our neighbors of all walks of life be?

Former President George Bush gave us the phrases, “A Gentle Nation”, “A Time of a Thousand Lights”. Each act of help to another person causes a light to shine in the darkness. Every street we walk on is truly another road from Jericho to Jerusalem. People in need line these streets. The Good Samaritan, a natural enemy of the Jews at the time, didn’t ask the beaten man at the side of the road, “Are you a Samaritan?” If we can help another creature of God, respond quickly! God Bless.

Fr. George McKenna

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 6 Comments