Pastor’s Letter – October 8, 2017: We Are All Pilgrims
This coming Tuesday I will be leaving for my walking pilgrimage. I will be walking from Assisi, Italy to Rome. It will be 150 miles over 12 days. Assisi and Rome have great significance for me. I spent 5 years studying as a seminarian in Rome. While in Rome we often took trips to Assisi. I love Assisi and grew in appreciation of the life and spirituality of both Sts. Francis and Clare. Their simplicity, poverty and dedication to Christ and the Gospel have always been attractive to me. When I heard there was a “Way of St. Francis” I wanted to walk it.
I like the idea of being a pilgrim. I think it has great spiritual significance and is a metaphor for life. The pilgrim is always moving toward a destination. The pilgrim has to expect the unexpected. The journey is full of variables and challenges, but always moves forward. The pilgrim is giving and receiving along the way and meeting new people and saying good-bye to those people.
As Christians, we are pilgrims. Jesus himself was a pilgrim. He was on a mission. His life was always going to Jerusalem, the holy city. In both the Old and New Testaments Jerusalem is the symbol of Heaven. Heaven is our true home. On earth we are passing through. As Jesus said to Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom (home) is not of this world.” Francis and Clare knew and understood this and this is why they lived in this world like pilgrims. The Kingdom of God is not about building kingdoms or legacies in this world. The Kingdom of God begins within, like the mustard seed, and grows large. It is the seed of faith that grows into love and communion with God in Christ.
As I walk the way of St. Francis, I will walk with my parish in mind and heart, all of those I have come know on this, my latest stop on my pilgrim way. Our lives touch each other in many different ways but especially in the Eucharist at Mass. When we are united at the Eucharist table of the Lord, it is Christ who becomes our food for the journey, the journey to eternal life, heaven, our true home. Each day as I walk I will be celebrating mass somewhere on the trail, and there at Eucharist, Holy Rosary will be close.
If you have completed the parish survey that is being conducted by the Archdiocese, thank you. If you have not yet had the opportunity to do so please do so soon. The portal to the survey is on the parish website – holyrosaryedmonds.org – and will close on Oct. 11.