Feast of St. Michael the Archangel

How Do You Know Me?

By Fr. Chris Valka, CSB

It is not often that a Feast day is celebrated in place of the regular Sunday liturgy; however, that is precisely what Cardinal Collins has called for this Sunday.  Since St. Michael is the patron of the archdiocese and we are soon to conclude the Year of Faith, Cardinal Collins has given us all a great gift in the elevated celebration of this Feast.

For all of us at St. Basil’s, it is also significant as we celebrate my installation as Pastor of St. Basil’s, the Collegiate Church of St. Michael’s.

The liturgy for this feast includes Jesus encounter with Nathanael in the Gospel of John.  Nathanael is confused because Jesus seems to know who he is, and yet, Nathanael does not recall meeting Jesus.

I must confess that I feel a bit like Nathanael this weekend as Jesus (and the Council of the Basilian Fathers) saw something in me before I ever saw it in myself – a Priest and Pastor.  Never in my wildest imagination would I imagine that I would be asked to Pastor a parish, and yet I find myself overjoyed and humbled by the confidence you have all put in me.

As I am formally installed this weekend, I hope are reminded that you are also capable of much more than you may have once thought.  I hope you will be inspired by the liturgy, and allow yourself to be seen by others as a “true child” of God.

Most of all, I hope that you pray for me, that I may allow myself to be seen by Jesus and by you for who I am – a man who is better than I was because you have accepted me.  Know that I pray for each of you, that you may be inspired by teachers like St. Basil and by the courage of St. Michael to go out and boldly proclaim the Good News to all you meet.