So many things running through my mind right now...open doors, seeds growing into huge plants, unexpected opportunities to share faith, and my youngest niece 'moving up'. I'm not sure if or how they are connected.
I used to think of summer as a time to kick back and relax a bit, even if I still had to work. I'm learning at St Francis it's just a different pace ... not really more relaxed, but maybe a chance to focus a bit more. So, tonight, in keeping with the idea that our doors are open to new experiences, our music director Jim Stayton is bringing his boys choir from Newark to perform here in East Harlem. I find myself wondering what the boys will be like, will they be excited to be in NYC, will they be excited to perform, will we have a good crowd in church to welcome them? I am really looking forward to hearing their music and appreciating the gifts they will share with us.The least I could do is make chocolate chip cookies for them!
The gospel this Sunday talks about that mustard seed of faith growing strong and firm and vibrant. I've been preparing for a class this weekend and part of the discussion will be on faith. For a while now I've been more aware of the whole idea of faith as a gift...but I'm thinking more today about what we need to do to nurture that gift...just like a gardener nurtures her plants. Do I take the time to share my faith with others? Am I aware of God's presence in my life each day? What makes me stop and meditate? Am I grateful? Do I ask for forgiveness? Can I find the quiet in my life? How do I nourish my spirit? All these little things, and so many more, help that kernel of faith to grow strong and true.
Just like this last baby in our family has somehow grown to be 10 and moving on to middle school. From the infant that tickled us with her innate sense of humor to a very outspoken pre-teen, these years have flown by in the blink of an eye...and I'm NOT her mother!! Like I wonder what our Newark boys will be like, and I wonder where I will find God today...I wonder what life will be like for her as she grows older. I pray with all my heart that God will guide her steps into a safe and happy future.
Last Sunday night I had the opportunity to share some of what I had written here in this blog with our parishioners who gathered for evening prayer. It was unexpected. I was taken by surprise, but, with God's help, I was ready. I was grateful for the chance and tried to make the most of the gift that was given to me. I pray that people heard what they needed to hear.
So as we prepare to move into a busy weekend I will think some more about faith and prayer. I am grateful that God recognizes even the smallest efforts on our part as a sign of our immense love for Him. Seeds grow, if cared for well, like our Newark boys, like my niece, like our faith.