Connecting the Dots
Whatever circumstance I step into – from the most unsettling surprise to the most thoroughly routine – God is there ahead of me opening the fountain of love. This is the wisdom I glean from John the Baptist’s great Aha moment we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel. He points to Jesus and says, in so many words: “He existed before me, and now I see him! He’s the reason I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing!”
As Father Franklin might say, he’s connecting the dots. John sees his encounter with Jesus as part of the larger picture of his life, including his past: God was there all along, and now – thanks to the Holy Spirit – I get it! Life begins to make sense and take on a depth it didn’t have before. Isn’t that true for all of us in such moments? Trust grows as we connect the dots. Yes, we can say now, in Jesus, God is present and has been present; God’s love is real.
Ed Heron, our pastoral council president for the past two years, has been a great help to me in “connecting the dots” here at the parish. From coffee and donuts, to the children’s Mass, to faith formation seminars, Ed is always there whole-heartedly. And he always brings back the experience to me and to the council, lifting us up and helping us connect the dots and grow in trust that God is with us, challenging and strengthening us.
At our meeting this Sunday, Ed will step down as pastoral council president, but you can bet he’ll still be totally involved! In you, Ed, I see not only John the Baptist, but the prophet Isaiah, formed so beautifully as God’s servant “raising up the tribes of Jacob” – wait a minute, make that the tribes of Santa Barbara!
Fr. Dan ofm