I sent him an email earlier in the week and hoped we could get together on Thursday evening. He had sent me his Christmas letter and left a note about going bowling. Ironically, we both seem to share the passion of bowling.
This night though, I really didn't want to go bowling. I just needed someone to share my thoughts, my feelings, and what was going on in my life. We had supper together where we openly spoke of many things.
When we got back to the rectory we continued our conversation for a couple of hours longer. He gave me excellent feedback on why this year has been a challenge for me, he shared his thoughts on the words of remembrance I had for my sister, and he continued to challenge me on what he truly believes is the most important aspect of anyone's ministry. He said...."Mitch, it still is about holding their hands, listening to their stories even if you have heard it at least 20 times before, it's all about bringing the presence of Christ in their lives!" He reminded me that there are no greater things to be done than to be in the presence for those in need!
Tonight I was watching the interview that ABC had with the Monsignor from the Newtown Conn. He spoke about the horrific events, but one phrase, one message truly opened my heart. He shared that his parishioners thanked him for his presence!
As we all prepare for the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may we all be reminded that He came to be in our presence, and He continues to challenge us to bring him to the broken, to the hungry, to the prisoners, to anyone in need. On it's face value it can be viewed as not much at all, but it can truly change this world!
I believe in the ministry of presence!
Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,