REFLECTION: What does it take?

As summer comes to an end and as I sit and reflect, the Father brings to mind a few special ones that I had met as the season began.  As I prod deeper and then as I step back to look at the whole picture, I begin to realize that these meetings did not come by chance, but I can very readily call them a special appointment.

I believe I first met them over 30 years ago while I was still in my university years.  The boys were then very young and still rambunctious.  As if by chance, I was there when the youngest was ordained, while I had attended the event for another with the same calling.  And then this summer, as if the Father had wanted our paths to meet again, I met the second one before he was ordained and then I was invited to attend his first Mass.  I never really got to know their mom, but as the summer progressed and because of a very unique “calling” from the Father, our acquaintance developed into a deeper friendship.

What does it take for a mother to offer her sons up to the Father?  I really don’t know, as I still have not had a chance to ask Julianne about that.  And yet when we chat and as I listen to her mention her sons, I realize that she no longer addresses these two as her sons, but she addresses them as Fr. Garrick and Fr. Justin.

Wanting to bring something along to celebrate his first Mass, I prepared an arrangement for the mother of the Priest.  We were just acquaintances then, but I had a great desire to prepare something for her because I heard that her son, who had just arrived, would leave almost immediately after his first celebration.  Just like our blessed Mother Mary, she chose to say “yes” to the Father and to surrender and offer another of her sons to His service.

As I searched and worked around the blooms in the garden, an arrangement of  white flowers cascading over a circle of dark, burgandy peonies came to be.  Not really knowing what I was doing, goosebumps immediately popped up on my arms when I heard the Father explain the arrangement.  The circle of dark, burgandy peonies represented the sin of the world.  The white flowers that distinctly rose above the peonies represented the Chosen Ones, the Priests, whom the Father has called to bring healing and to shepherd His children.

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