Happy Easter Brothers!
The brothers in Bradford were recently giving a parish mission in a nearby parish in the diocese. On Wednesday night we were introduced to the oldest parishioner in the parish. She was 101 and her name was Molly. I thought her name was perfect. When I hear the name “Molly” I think of a bright-eyed red-haired young girl riding around on her bike or skipping and laughing all the way. Molly was 101. I know….no skipping or riding her bike around her neighbour’s driveway but I have to tell you she was young! “I still do everything for myself,” she said. “Oh, yes. I feel the same as I did when I was 50!” “What’s your secret?” asked Sr. Elizabeth and Fr. Gabriel standing by. Presuming to hear something about low fat yoghurt or kale and apple smoothies she offered a response as quickly as we had asked the question. “I love my God and his holy Will.” The bright smile and even brighter look she floored us both. “I’m not sure what that means, but you are holy and still here with us for a purpose; wow…,” I thought to myself. Molly continued to shuffle around the vestibule of the Church offering many “thank yous” and “goodbyes” while the rest of us absorbed what she had just said.
She found life in the Lord brothers. For her living a long and happy life was to “love her God and to do His holy will.” Sometimes knowing the will of God can be a frightening affair. Sometimes we want to run. I’m grateful for people like Molly who can remind me that God’s will gives life and therefore, joy. May this Easter be for all of you brothers a time to take a step forward in your discernment. A step forward in trust that whatever the Lord wants, I will be willing because I know that being with Him wherever He leads me is life and joy.
I have a feeling when Molly dances into the halls of heaven there will be a train of people leaning forward to follow her steps as they stumble along behind her. May we be found among them smiling and delighted with having “loved the Lord and his holy will.”
Happy Easter brothers,
Fr. Gabriel Joseph, CFR