July 1, 2018 Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

They say there are only two things certain in life – death and taxes.  I would like to add a third certain thing in life – CHANGE.  No matter how we try to avoid it, most of us have difficulty with change.  It unsettles our comfortable routine and that which is familiar.  Many of us resist change and try stubbornly to hold our ground.  For me, the most difficult struggle is not changing of assignments (most of the time that is a good thing), but of aging.  I find myself more frequently listening to music of the late 60’s & early 70’s (my high school and college years), longing for those carefree disco days! And wondering why the youth of today find this music “old fashioned”!  I also realize how irrelevant I have become to teens and people in their 20’s and 30’s.  When I was first ordained (age 29) I was in demand to give talks and retreats to youth.  That stopped when I was 40, and now in my mid 60’s young people think I am really old! At least the little kids still like me – I guess I am more of a grandfather figure to them!  And that blows my mind!!  HOW did I get this old? And last month I filed to begin collecting my social security!  I still want to deny that I have some arthritis, that sugar levels are gradually increasing, that changes in diet would be beneficial, and that sometimes my energy level isn’t where I think it should be.  And the reality of possible retirement in four years makes me scared of a new chapter in life. CHANGE!

So, I admire those who can face new chapters in life and re-make themselves!  Last weekend our Director of Liturgy and Music for the past 25 years said good-bye to the parish.  His farewell article in the bulletin was very gracious.   I have only had the pleasure of working with Larry for only one year, but I have been very grateful for his dedication to OLM, his attention to detail, his knowledge of liturgy, his musical gifts and talents, and of course his goofy humor!!  In my 37 years of being a priest I have never experience something so beautiful as the orchestra and choir he puts together for the Christmas midnight Mass.  So on behalf of Fr. Tivy, founding pastor, Fr. Hugh, all the priests, deacons, religious and staff who have served during your tenure, as well as the parishioners, I express our profound gratitude for all you have done for and meant to this parish community.  God bless you as you re-make yourself and future! As Larry mentioned in his article he will be spending more time playing jazz-gigs and giving individual piano lessons – and sleeping in on Sundays…..subbing at parishes on occasion.

Gee!  Guess I should start pondering about re-making myself instead of longing for my youth!  Wonder if there is a vineyard or winery in Sonoma County California that will need a chaplain in a few years?  Guess I’ll have to wait until that next chapter (CHANGE) happens in life to find out!

Have a blessed week and a safe and enjoyable July 4th celebration

Father Don