May 2, 2009 – We Need Not Fear

Reporting to you proud to say that I’m still free of the swine flu.  Of course any strain of flu is serious, but I think there are signs that this might not be the imminent end of the world that the media has portrayed it to be.

Well I think it is safe to say that the drought is over.  I know that the old wives’ tale says that if it rains on Easter Sunday, that there would be rain for the next seven Sundays.  It didn’t mention anything about the rest of the week!  Pray that there is a break in the rain soon so that the farmers and gardeners can get their needed planting done.

I have said before that I try to keep the topics of this little blog on a positive tone, so when I tell you that over the last few days I have been thinking about our mortality and our limited time here on earth, you might wonder “My gosh, Brian, what’s going on?!”.  Well nothing specifically – I’m not planning on turning in my key for some time, but a couple of things I have heard and read kind of jarred my brain down this path.  First I had an aunt who passed away a couple of weeks ago.  Then I was saddened to hear of the passing of Melissa Reiman, daughter of our former organist/choir director Sue Reiman, who herself passed away about a year and a half ago.  Though Melissa was about my age, we went to different schools so I did not know her well.  But when someone who grew up in your community who is about your age passes on, it gives you pause to think – what if for whatever reason my time would be coming near – have I done enough to merit being welcomed into the heavenly kingdom?  Are there any wrongs I have committed that I need to make right?  Are there things in my life I need to change?

Finally, I read an article yesterday about a study headed by a surgeon in Pittsburgh – it showed that those who go to church on a regular basis can have a life expectancy of up to 2 – 2 1/2 years longer than those who don’t attend.  There were various factors that were mentioned as to why this may be the case – the article talked about things such as that people who go to church are more affluent and have access to better healthcare, that people who go to church have a more extensive social network for support, and that those who go to church have a more positive outlook.  It of course did not mention the power of prayer and living out the message of Jesus.  I would suggest that the surgeon visit his local convent and get their thoughts as to why the data in the study came out the way it did.

So what does all of this mean in the end analysis?  Well if we lived in fear of our death, that would not be much of a life.  Do we need to prepare for our death in spiritual and practical ways?  Absolutely yes, but we should not fear it.  The core belief of a Christian is that if we live by the example Jesus gave us, that we will be rewarded with eternal life with Him.  There was a country song that came out about a year ago – the main line of the song was that “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to go now.”  We grieve those around us who have passed on, but if we are confident that they lived in the way Jesus wanted them too, then we have reason to be thankful, also.  They are much better off than any of us here.

Just a couple of wrap-up notes:  Congratulations to our Kindergarten class who is having their graduation ceremony this evening.  Thank you to Mrs. Jany and our school staff for the wonderful job they continue to do with our young prodigies.

Also please keep in mind our meeting this Wednesday from 6:30-8:00PM in the parish house as we begin to prepare for our Parish Mission.  If you can help us with things such as stuffing envelopes, making a few phone calls, etc., please come and find out what it’s all about.  More folks will make for a better mission experience.

And of course I have to mention that the Cardinals had their best record in the month of April since 1944!  There is some sun peeking through the clouds!  Have a good week.  Peace.

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