We’re back in Ordinary Time (named after Ordinal numbers—first, second, etc.), a period of normalcy, when we focus on following Jesus in our everyday lives rather than at special events. Today we hear the call of Samuel, who does not at first realize that it’s God who is calling him. He thinks that it’s Eli, the priest in the temple. In the gospel passage, John the Baptist indeed recognizes Jesus, and points him out to two of his disciples. They are curious about Jesus, so they go stay with him for a while, and then Andrew goes to get his brother Simon Peter. I find it hard at times to sort out God’s call in my daily life. There are so many competing voices. I think that is one reason that the Church requires all priests to have an annual retreat, so as to help hear that call. I feel privileged to be a part of a group of priests who meet every year for retreat, a time of prayer, renewal, and fellowship. So, I will be away for this coming week, Monday through Friday; I promise you my prayer for you, and I ask that you remember me in your prayer. I will be back for Masses on the weekend. Fr. Jim will write the column for next week’s bulletin.
Part of following Jesus, as Pope Francis often mentions, is lending a helping hand to those in need. I felt privileged that we were able to welcome people from Brentwood Recovery Home after their place was flooded at the end of August. We received a letter of thanks from Dan Soulliere, the executive director; He wrote:
“… We will never be able to communicate the full extent of our gratitude for the use of your facilities which allowed us to continue to serve those who so desperately need our help. The Parish Hall was perfect for presenting our treatment program, Jr. Youth Group, and family support meetings. The continued use by our family support groups has been invaluable.
“It was the kindness of others that sustained us in our time of need. Your continued support to Brentwood is very much appreciated.
“We have been providing residential addiction treatment to those who suffer from substance abuse as well as providing supportive programs for their families in Windsor and Essex County for over 53 years. With the support of our community, we will continue far into the future.”