From the desk of Fr. Barry
This past week away was a much-needed break. Catching up with old friends, sleeping in, not being on a schedule, all helped me realize what I’ve been told in seminary, take your vacation! I hadn’t realized that not taking a vacation in the last 15 months had worn me down so much. The trip lead way to appreciating the time and looking at the beauty of the area. As we drove through the Black Hills and Bad Lands, I couldn’t help but contemplate the sheer beauty of the area; the majesty of the hills and terrain. As I looked out, I wondered how anyone could look across the plains and not see the wonder of God’s creation. Each piece of art in those hills was created by our magnificent, wonderful and benevolent God.
I discovered how science had proven that at one time the land was a jungle that had flooded and become an ocean of water. Yet today, all we see is rocks of color and varying shapes. What science has proven; I would have never suspected. But it is all in God’s plan.
I bring up my trip because Jesus, throughout scripture talks about going to a quiet place to get away and pray. He removed himself from the hussle and bussle of everyday life to spend time in prayer with the Father, to relax and regain his energy. I felt that connection on this trip. I felt the call to enjoy all that God has to offer and to not forget all that He has provided. I was able to see the joy he provides through nature and the comfort he provides through friends. You could say that his presence was ever so apparent. Our relationship had taken another step forward.
As we continue to journey through Matthew’s Gospel, we hear the famous line from Jesus, “who do you say that I am?” (16:15). None of us would be able to answer that question, of anyone, if we did not know the person at some level. Peter, because he had already witnessed the countless miracles of Jesus, answers emphatically “you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (16:16). In answering correctly, Jesus then praises him and because of his faith, awards him the keys to heaven.
One of the questions I repeatedly asked myself last week was, “ do I have to go back?” Those 4 days were going quickly and I didn’t feel I was ready to let it end. But then day four came and I was at total peace to make that 10-hour drive. I knew that God’s plan for me was to be where he had placed me 6 years ago when I was called back to Wisconsin and left San Antonio.
You see, it’s through a relationship (entrusted to us through faith) with Christ ,that allows us to see not only who He is, but who he wants us to be. And when we are open to it, life’s decisions, our wants and desires, aren’t as important as to what He wants from us and of us. I know with my whole being that God’s plan for me is to serve, now I just have to figure out how to balance father time from Barry time. As with all of us, the journey continues, the journey to bring Christ into every aspect of our lives, whether that be at work, at home, at the store or on vacation. To better that relationship in an intimate, trusting, and loving way. When we do that, we too will emphatically say “you are the Messiah, the Son of the living God”!
Enjoy the week my friends, be witnesses to the love and kindness of our Almighty God in everything you do.