I look at my Brother and Sister, Ed and Nan Weber, as I approach 45 years of Priesthood, they have live over 50 years together. The Jubilee is 50 years! What an awesome life filled with faith, hope and love, ... and the Promise of Tomorrow, whatever it may bring. Standing here in Assisi where St. Francis lived, what a peace and serenity to know that we too can oexperience hope that the world cannot understand. As a priest, I encounter the hope and the hopeless, often, and find that my skills fall short, but His skills do not, for He is the Light in the Darkness, the Love of God made manifest to those of who believe in Him and His Promises. Hope is found in the lives of those we love. It is a relief of burdens and a renewal of strength and courage that the worldly minded cannot fathom; it is difficult for those who truly believe and trust in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to fathom. Our responsibility, since we do have a knowledge and understanding of God's Love, is to share that amazing adventure with others. Jesus commanded His disciples, and through them, He commands us, as well, to ... "go into the whole world and make disciples, proclaiming my Name to every creature." Matthew 28: 19,20 ... "Know that I will be with you until the end of time." Is this not Good News, to be shared?
As we get older (sigh), we do not lose hope. Hope in God will not disappoint us. It is a certainty, that Our Hope is not in vain. There are many people, believers and non-believers who are getting to the point where the HOPE is to be seen, by the manner in which we liveout our final days, hours, and moments. How is it that my life is so richly endowed with the Glory of God, and am I able to share this abundance with others, especially my loved ones for whom I have spent so much of my life nourishing and guiding? Those of us who are "aging" have so much to offer yet to the world, with the wisdom and love of decades of living faith, hope, and love, serving and being served, never doubting in the Presence of Our God and His Providence.
To all who have elderly family members, know that they are in their prime, and you and your children can benefit richly from what they say and do; so you need to keep them close!
God bless and keep us all in His Loving Embrace,
Fr. Ron Mathews