Today is Chrism Mass day in Cheyenne country. As you know from the previous blog entry, this is one of my favorite Liturgical celebrations of the year, as it is for not only most priests, but many people of the faith as well. It gives a snapshot of the beauty and richness of the Church.
This evening, as we hear the Sacred Scriptures and celebrate the Eucharist; as we hear our priests renew their promises and witness the consecration of the Holy Oils, we get a sense of the mysterious way Jesus has created a “new home” for the believer in the life of the Church. This “new home” is not so much a physical dwelling place as it is a dwelling place in the reality of God’s love.
Tonight, we renew our hope in the outpouring of God’s love in the person of Jesus Christ. Tonight we recomit to take ourselves to both actively receive this love, and actively share this love through each of our unique, God-given vocations.
On this special day, I always remember my brother priests; my real brothers, Fr. Bernie and Fr. Zach; the priests of this local Church of Cheyenne, my brother priests from my first faith family, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, my seminary classmates, my brother bishops, and so many others.
I also remember in prayer with deep gratitude and appreciation the faithful entrusted to me; the people of the diocese of Cheyenne, and the many people I was blessed to serve as pastor in my life as a parish priest. Bishop Lynch (then Fr. Bob) said in the homily of my first Mass as a priest: “Many young priests think that they are God’s gift to His people. In reality, God’s people are His gift to His priests.” I have always remembered that, and always find it to be so true.
So, thanks, People of God for your faith. Thanks for the great love you show your priests! Let us continue to pray for one another through these next very holy days!
I hope to post tonight’s