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The Present

Blog Post & Photos by Sister Patrice Colletti, SDS
Kateri Initiative – Sisseton, South Dakota

Each week, Salvatorian pastor Fr. Paul Portland emails me a copy of his homily. We started years ago, when I was a member of his parish. The parish could no longer provide sign interpreters, but he agreed to share a print copy of his homily with me each week so that I could be equally included in the celebration of Eucharist and the Word. When I moved to South Dakota, he allowed me to continue receiving it. 

Each week, I am grateful. Fr. Paul’s homilies always offer me opportunities for reflection and prayer, and also a challenge. How shall I put the Good News into action in my life?

I also wonder: is preaching like teaching? I mean, excellence in teaching requires first, the God-given gift… and then continual training and reflective experience to constantly deepen and hone it. The best educators are never done learning. I suspect that could be said about the best attorneys, bus drivers, carpenters, farmers, or what-evers. There has to be passion. There has to be openness to change. There has to be the constant integration of research and practice. Both integrity and fortitude are necessary, as are courage and plain ol’ grit.  In this week’s homily, Fr. Paul notes the three “comings” of Jesus: in the past (his birth in Bethlehem, remembered at Christmas), in the future (his coming in glory at the end of time, remembered at the feast of Christ the King), and between these two events, his coming in the PRESENT.

As I sat with my reflection on the past week (my normal Saturday prayer practice), I was so very aware of the PRESENT. My ministries here among the Dakota people and my daily experiences of a very challenging health condition both press that PRESENT upon me 24/7/365.

But, Fr. Paul also reminds us that “… Christ is coming to us each day through the people and events around us. And, he wants us to bring Christ to others TODAY, NOW, HERE… wherever we are… by how we live our lives.”

Potent stuff on this snowy, icy Saturday morning, don’t you think? Thanks Fr. Paul, for sharing your gifts. Thank you, also, God… for the people and events around me.

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