This is a week for important events in my life. Tomorrow I celebrate my 72nd birthday, and on Thursday, after 9 years, I step aside as President of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, and welcome my successor, Fr. Jon Chalmers. I must admit that since I made the decision back in January to find my successor, I held out little hope that another Catholic priest would succeed me. Oh, me of little faith. Today’s Word shines a light on this experience and some spiritual realities that help us interpret what is happening to us. Paul is so attached to Christ he considers himself His slave. He goes where the Lord leads by obedience of faith. It’s called surrender. And that term “Gentile” is attached to these two. Gentiles, the strangers, the foreigners, the unchurched, and unattached ones, those who make us feel awkward or uncomfortable. It’s called apostolic. So do we need more signs?
Jesus is in another crowd today. He did something to those who surrounded hm. Well, some who were with him were awakened by something He did, or said. Joseph G. Donders, African missionary, says it well: “He awakened something in them. His dynamic became theirs….There are immense depths in us. There are fantastic possibilities, realities that remain hidden if we are not stimulated by someone else.” “Realities that remain hidden,” is not that mystery? “Stimulated by someone else,” is not that Communion? So who needs signs? We have the spiritual realities at our daily disposal: surrender, apostolic, mystery and Communion. In our daily events we must pay attention to our “insides,” and to those who know and love you well. After all, did not Jesus come to “bring fire to the earth” and baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire? Mt. 3:11
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School, Birmingham, Alabama.