By Fr. Chris Valka, C.S.B
As the father has sent me, so I send you. As I was sent, so you are sent. As a result of what you have learned, of the relationship that you have known, you are to go out and share your experience of God. I do not think there is a single person is this church who is not aware of the overlapping messages presented to us this Pentecost, for we are aware of what this commissioning means for us a global, universal church as well as what it means for us as a parish. This is a season of new life, but we do not experience new without the loss of something old.
Over the past four years, we have had a remarkable experience of church – this is as true for me as it is for each of you. The temptation is, for us, just as it was for the disciples: feeling that they could not recreate it, the disciples wanted to return to what they knew before. It was easier for them to go back to their old lives; to be satisfied with what existed before they met Jesus. And they tried – they just couldn’t do that. How can you be satisfied with once was when you have lived for what is possible? How can you ever be content with Option A or Option B when you know that life is not a choice to be made but a possibility to be lived into.
Choices always mask limitations and always contain the acceptance of problems. On one level, this is to accept the world we live in and take it as it is – which is so very necessary. However, this isn’t why we are sent. We are sent because we have seen and heard a God who is not satisfied with simply solving problems. We have seen and heard a God who nurtures our potential and knows the desires of our souls. It is that desire that defines us and it is that desire that we are to call forth from each other. As I end my time with you as your Pastor, my hope is that you continue to do this for each other. My prayer is that you never be satisfied of what we make in this life, so that you may take on more than you can handle, so that you are driven to God for strength. Change is never easy, but so long as we live with gratitude, the changes that come are understood in a wider context – a part of something much bigger than ourselves or even this one parish.
May God continue to bless us all with courage and creativity. Thank you for all you have taught me and for all that you have done with me . . . it has been an honour and a blessing.
Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13