Our Journey Back

September 13, 2023

I pray that all of us had a joyful Thanksgiving and a fresh start to Advent. I hope that it re-energized us as we prepare for Christmas.

For me, Thanksgiving was a time to remember what it was like to see all those who are dear to me—those I love. Once you get past the sugar highs and the sleepiness that follows the big meal, you remember just how important family and those relationships are. To be honest I was pretty tired before I went to those Thanksgiving parties. But there is that energy that you get when you’re with those whom you haven’t seen in awhile.

I guess I never realized what state being quarantined and isolated during Covid had left me in. I had a longing just to be in their presence. There was a fulfillment with them that I had forgotten I needed.

In the seminary, we were told to think of our prayer life in this same way. Once you have experienced the love God wants to share, there is a longing to go back to it. A longing to know that you are not alone, that God is near to you each and every day. It’s almost like when you were dating. You couldn’t wait until the next time you’d be able to see them. Maybe you even had that hesitation and you thought, “Do I call them, or do I wait for them to call me? I don’t want to sound too needy!”

I find it amazing that after so much has changed for us in the last year(ish), He hasn’t. Jesus is still waiting for me to come and speak with Him. Sometimes I forget how much He means to me. He helps me to be centered. He helps me to calm down. He lets me just be me.

Sometimes we need a push, or at least I know I do. Sometimes that excitement for something just over the horizon gives me some initiative. I believe the season of Advent is a push for all of us as we look forward to Christmas. A time to prepare and a time to remember what is really important to us.

Maybe life has gotten in the way of our relationships with each other and with God. Maybe this season couldn’t have come at a better time. Maybe today is the day I start my journey back to both.

– Fr. Chris