First Down with Fr. Eric (December 29, 2019)

Dear Friends,

Looks like we survived another Christmas Eve and Day at St. Patrick. Like many other churches we had our annual overflow crowds for the great Feast of Christmas. As a parish, we had to adjust our schedule, our parking and our seating situation to provide hospitality for the many people choosing to join us at our Masses.

For those who come to Mass on Sundays throughout the year, it can cause us to feel uncomfortable about the changes to our routines, having to share space with those who do not come all the time. Some might even feel it ruins one’s Christmas at the Parish.

If one is to listen carefully to all the Scripture verses that speak of the coming of Christ, it is always expressed with the message He is coming for the entire world. All nations will be gathered and heaven and earth rejoice at the coming of the Savior. Scripture uses the language of inclusivity that salvation is meant for the whole world.

Yet, Christian churches can be filled with people frustrated that everyone decides to show up and ruin the routine. If we are to be serious about our baptismal call then it is important that we are willing to be made uncomfortable for the sake of making others comfortable in coming to worship our God. It is messy. Anytime you involve a large number of people, it will be messy. And salvation is a messy project.

So as we reflect on the past few days, know that your openness to encounter others who decided to come at this time, your openness to change the normal routine, your openness to move over and make room for others is exactly what a Disciple in Mission does every time.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric