Dear Brother Knights,
We are entering a new season in our parish life. Fall is coming, Covid is nearing its end (I hope) and a new Parish priest is to be installed soon. I’m reminded of several passages from scriptures. In Luke, 4:38-44, we are told of an incident when Jesus went to the home of Simon. Simon’s Mother-in-law was sick, and he healed her. Later, he healed many others who were brought to him by the people of that town. By the end of a long night, “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving.”
I think we all have that mentality in our lives. We don’t want to let go of what we see as a good thing and are a bit afraid of the new thing to come. I have seen and heard many things over the course of the past several years that brought this to mind over and over again. Things like “Well that’s not how we do it” or “I miss the old way…” or “I’m not being fed …”. Jesus’ response to the people (verse 43) is pretty clear. “I must proclaim the good news … to other towns too”.
Jesus is alive and moving and he is in each of us. His Word comes to us through many people, and we need to be able to see and hear his word in all His forms and from all His messengers. We are about to receive a new priest and with that will come new ways, new kinds of messages and the old ways will need to be released so as to make way for the new. If you pour new wine into old wine skins, the new wine will burst the wineskins, and both will be lost (Luke 5:37). Jesus is telling us that we must renew ourselves so we can accept the new wine. If we try to squeeze the new into our old, wrinkled wineskins, it will not end well for us or for the new wine.
I know I’m “stretching” things a bit here, but I see the new priest, Fr. Hibbard, as the new wine. Our old ways as the old wineskins that need to be replaced with new skins. We need to see the Word of the Lord coming from our new priest and not hold to the Word as we heard it from one of our former priests. We must see the Word in the new ways our parish will operate and not hold to the old ways from previous priests. This is a new and exciting time for us. It can be a bit scary and nerve-wracking too. Let’s renew ourselves in the Spirit, so we can accept our new wine and thrive in it. Let us welcome our new priest,
Fr. Hibbard with open arms and joyous anticipation of renewal and growth.
I cannot wait!