Holy Family

Holy Family

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Feast of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch

Good morning. There are many things I have learned over the course of the last few days; doing God’s will, about sums it up. Even in reading this morning’s Gospel I’ve experienced a bit of an Epiphany. For those of you who regularly read my simple ramblings on a regular basis you’ve no doubt realized that I’ve not attended to my Blog over the course of these last few days, this has been due to my needing to be present to my wife and her siblings in attending to the last days and subsequent burial yesterday of my father-in-law. The words from today’s Gospel as well as the reading from the Book of Samuel and the words of Psalm 40 combine with things I have come to realize about the lessons from the life of my father-in-law, Butch, which I’ve previously not fully appreciated. “Here I am Lord, I come to do Your will.” Butch died last Friday evening, January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany.

In today’s Gospel we read where our Lord responded to all who needed Him despite His own tiredness. So it was with Butch, he so very often put his own children above his own needs, and twelve years ago now I was witness to his putting the needs of his bride Aggie above those of himself. For seven long, tiring months he put the needs of his dying wife above those of his own. For the better part of 81 years Butch was about putting the needs of others above his own despite his own tiredness. As a young lad his father passed away and at a very young age he was called to attend to the needs of his widowed mother and the family farm. He was not able to complete the education he dearly esteemed because he realized the needs of his family and the needs of the family farm were more pressing. Much like the young Samuel in this first reading for today Butch responded to the voice of God in his life to give of himself to those he loved and he likewise responded to the needs of the community and country he loved.

The lesson from this morning’s readings, the lesson from these past few days and these final months in the life of Butch, and the healing memories of Butch’s life bring hope. Our Dear German Shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, in his book   Seek That Which Is Above writes about how memories offer us hope. How the intention of Advent and the other seasons and “feasts in the Church’s calendar are events of remembrance and hence events of hope.” And so it is for the life and memories of Butch and of others who have gone before us, their lives and their goodness offer us hope and lessons for our own lives and encouragement to respond to God’s voice. So let us all listen and respond to God’s call in our lives, and let the memories of others bring us hope and encouragement to likewise give generously of ourselves. Thanks Butch! Make a great day!

Today we recall the good life, gifts and works of Saint Theodosius the Cenobiarch—a monk who lived his life for the faith community of Palestine.

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