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03.20.16: Are you ready?

Bulletin column for St. Mary's Parish in Griffith, Ind.

Growing up, my mom worked part-time, so every summer it was off to grandma’s house I’d go, every midweek.

My grandmother lived in a post-World War II Cape Cod two blocks south of Ridge Road in Hobart, and every time I walked into her house, I swear she was in the kitchen, towel over her shoulder, making something for somebody. Maybe she had a sick friend, so there was a pot of golabki, her Polish stuffed cabbage, on the stove. Or, maybe she was going to a party, so there were a dozen of her fresh cream cheese pound cakes on resting on her cooling racks – which were just upside down teacups topped with the racks from two ovens ago. If you told her you were going to do have company over and were in a clutch , you need not worry. Lil would have had something ready for you in a jiffy. It was just who she was. She was always ready to serve.

Holy Week always reminds me of my grandmother. I think it’s the Gospel on Holy Thursday that really gets that ball rolling. Here we see Jesus, the Son of God, towel around his waist, bending down to wash the feet of his friends. He seeks no glory, no recognition in this act. His only desire is that those who love him pay it forward. He wants to see that after he’s gone, the mission continues.

Often, you and I can become comfortable in our routine, content with what is familiar, happy with roles we know. But when this happens, we’re not living lives of mission. We’re in “maintenance mode,” doing what we’ve always done the way we’ve always done it because it works, right? Wrong. Often times, it doesn’t work. Often times, we get suck doing things that prevent us from moving forward, prevent us from living those lives of mission that we’re called to live. Why? Living lives of mission means opening ourselves up to failure. We become vulnerable and being vulnerable oftentimes involves getting bruised.

Friends, I guess what I’m getting at is that this Holy Week, if we really take the three days of the Triduum to heart, we’re going to see that having a bruised ego is the least we can risk to keep the mission of Christ alive in our parish community. Take some time in prayer this week. Let’s ask ourselves what gifts we’ve been given and how is it that we can use those to help build up the kingdom of God, to keep the mission moving forward, to keep spreading the love of God and keep growing this family of faith.

When you’re ready to move forward, grab a towel. We’ve got feet to wash.

In joyful hope,


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