I Prayed for You
Shortly before I was appointed pastor here at San Pedro, I was also asked to serve on the General Council of my religious community, the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. And so a couple weeks ago, I was away for a Council meeting at our General House in Rome, a short walk from St. Peter’s Basilica.
I arrived the day before the meetings began and walked down our patron’s tomb at St. Peter’s in Rome to pray for the good people of San Pedro’s here in North Port. Even though I was far away, I felt very close to you all, and honestly looked forward to just getting back home.
St. Peter gave up everything to follow Jesus, and his entire life became a testimony to the power of Jesus’ presence and words. “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men” (Matthew 4:19). Even though Peter no longer had a stable place to call his home, he found himself at home wherever the Lord was – and wherever the Lord sent him.
Finding our home in Jesus is the call for each of us, and it is possible wherever the Lord has us. Learning how to do this in our earthly life prepares us well for the life of heaven, when Jesus will truly be our home, our life and our all. That doesn’t make us care less for our home on earth, but makes us care for it differently. We can learn to love one another – out of love for Jesus. We can learn to appreciate the good things we have as gifts from the Lord, to be shared freely with others as we have received them freely from the Lord. Even when we suffer the loss of the good things of this earth, including the loss of those we love, we can learn to experience this sorrow not as a punishment from an angry God, but as a moment to make our hearts fly to God as our only lasting home. We learn to love in this passing world, but only in the world to come will that love come to its fulfillment.
I prayed for you while I was far away, and felt very close to you. As we continue to pray for those who have gone before us, we experience our continuing communion with them in Christ. Our hearts long for the time when we will know one another fully in Christ. Jesus sent Peter to fish for us, to catch our hearts so we could get to know Jesus as he did. From San Pedro in North Port to St. Peter’s in Rome, Jesus is the same. Let’s pray for each other, that we can learn to love one another in Christ through this passing life until he brings us to love him perfectly in the resurrection. Then, when His glory appears, our joy will truly be full.