As we celebrate the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time this weekend and reach the mid-point of the summer, we thought that it would be good to hold a “Mid-summer Donut Sunday” this weekend. I hope that you were able to linger after Mass this weekend and catch up a bit with your fellow parishioners.
We were truly blessed last weekend to be able to welcome Father Charles Banks, OMI, home to celebrate his 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination. He presided at the 10:00am Mass last Sunday. During his homily, he mentioned that St. Isidore parish & school were “holy ground” for him as he grew in faith and in his vocation. It was good for us to be reminded of the way God works right here and right now.
The past several weeks have been unusually busy. We keep waiting for things to slow down a bit, and are still waiting! Fortunately, I was able to get away for a few days last week for a “mid-week weekend” in New York City. I was able to meet some friends who were vacationing on the east coast and catch a few Broadway shows. The break came at just the right time and reminded me of some things I had forgotten.
I flew out on Tuesday morning and returned on Thursday. Even though the flight was less than two hours, we climbed to 36,000 feet for our cruising altitude. As I usually do, I requested a window seat when I made my reservations. I enjoy the view, and try to figure out where we are when we are landing at a familiar airport. And our world looks very different from that altitude. That unique view from high above gave me a chance to look at things from a different perspective.
Looking down from above, the world seems so ordered and peaceful. Farms are laid out in neat and ordered parcels. City streets seem to make sense and form a grid for those who live there. Interstate highways connect the various towns like a network of arteries. Even the vehicles traveling on those highways seem to be moving along in tranquility and serenity. Rivers snake their way through the countryside and make a different kind of highway. Even the clouds have a different look when viewed from that angle. The world has an incredible beauty that can only be seen from above. It is hard to imagine that there could be any conflict or tension in the lives of those who live below. No one seems to be pressed for time or in a hurry. The world just seems to “be” and exist with a divine purpose. The view from 36,000 feet often helps me to put all of the various concerns and struggles of life into a proper perspective. Things that seem so very important on the ground find their proper place when seen from above.
Too often we find ourselves running from event to event, from place to place, wishing that there were a few more hours in the day. At times it feels like we are trying to squeeze 10 pounds of sand into a five pound bag. We are so busy that it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. Our individual concerns take on a life of their own and can become the most important issues in the world. It is very easy for us to lose perspective with the pace at which we live, even in the summer time. And the different things that we face only seem to intensify the worries and fears we carry. Looking at our world from 36,000 can be a very good reality check. We each have a place in our world, however great or small. We are each a part of an incredible whole, but not the entire whole. As important as the events of our lives often seem, Some One else is in control. I have often said and truly believe that we all end up in the right place at the right time. I’ve found that to be true in each of my previous assignments and have seen that to be true during my last few years here at St. Isidore. God is in control and our call is to work hand in hand with God.
I hope that each of us has a chance to step back and to see the big picture from time to time. That can happen in different ways for each of us. For me, looking at our world from 36,000 feet provides another opportunity. For others, there are different ways of rising above the trees and seeing the forest. I hope that we do experience the change of pace that summertime can bring and that it can help us notice things that have always been there, but never really seen before.
Summer projects continue this month. Now that the curbs and sidewalk around the church have been repaired, it is time to resurface the parking lot. That major project is scheduled to be done July 28 and 29. Thank you for your patience in taking detours to whatever place or office you need to visit while the work is being done. Your understanding is deeply appreciated!
The extra space around us at weekend Mass reminds us that many are away on vacation. We remember in our prayer all those who are traveling. And we thank God for the good weather we experienced this past week. May God continue to bless us with all that we need, and more.