We all woke up on Wednesday January 4 to the great news that twelve miners had been found alive, only to turn on “Good Morning America” and find that somehow a “miscommunication” had taken place and these men were dead. Cheering crowds around the world traditionally greet the New Year with absolutely no idea what time will bring to them personally or to their families. On Tuesday, January 3rd, a 27 year old on her way to work is killed by a speeding teenage driver on Rt. 27, [after she and] her sister had left their dad at work. We could think of endless real life stories where in the blink of an eye our lives are changed forever. A young mother of two children, who has left the local hospital because her family has no insurance, will be blind in one eye because of a random, celebratory shooting New Year’s Eve.
Time is a gift, a privilege not guaranteed by birth, insurance, or family tradition…The reality, of course, is that each day is a concession from above, a sign from a patient God who is still waiting for me to live a life that is worthy of the gift of life He bestows…On Christmas Eve, as you know, I was blessed to celebrate 30 years in the priesthood. While in human terms we are often the ones receiving the congratulations of our fellow travelers in life, the truth is that, at best, we are fortunate enough to somehow cooperate with what God is asking of us…As you also know…I continue to undergo cancer treatment…
None of this should be surprising, but the human reality is that often we fail to understand, even when the obvious is, as we say, “right in front of our noses.” Baby Jesus was born in time and…has changed the life of the human race forever. Because a Baby is born, upheaval burdens the life of the Holy Family, Wise Men leave their palaces, shepherds abandon their flocks, those in government are threatened. All this because of something that a moment in time brought to the world. That is precisely the point: All I know is that you and I have been given a moment in time by our Creator, and then another and another. Help me Lord to be grateful for what you have allowed me to achieve, and strengthen my resolve to continue forward on the pilgrimage of life that your gift of time has given me. In time, long before there was a cross, one tiny heart beat with the purest Love the world would ever know. And two faithful people carried that Love to Bethlehem so that it might be born in every heart one day. This is what time is for.
From the Jan. 8, 2006 letter of Father John McCormick, Rector, to the parishioners of St. James Catholic Cathedral, Orlando, Florida. Pray for this good priest. We like him.
By strange coincidence, the music director of twenty years’ standing, Robert Schaeffer, has also been stricken with cancer. He is the most talented I have ever known - at playing the organ and piano, at directing the choir. (I used to croak- I mean sing for them). Pray for him too. Father McCormick might be around 60, Bob no more than middle-aged.