Published on Jul 7th, 2012 by Austin Keith | 0

Our Reading this weekend challenge each of us to remember that God’s ways are not our own; we are often called to serve the Lord is ways that we never could anticipate nor understand. The prophet Ezekiel was sent into danger all around him because the Spirit of the Lord spoke to him telling him that regardless of how his message was received, they would know that a “prophet has been among them”.

“The Lord Yahweh says this: Whether they listen or not, this set of rebels shall know there is a prophet among them. And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, do not be afraid when they say, “Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you. And whether they heed or resist-for they are a rebellious house-they shall know that a prophet has been among them.” (Ez: 2: 3ff)

Similarly, St. Paul, in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, willingly speaks of his displeasure with God as he had perceived that God failed to answer his prayers by ridding him of an “affliction”. Yet, once considering God’s message, Paul was able to finally understand that God works in strange ways; certainly not in ways that are our own:

In view of the extraordinary nature of these revelations, to stop me from getting too proud I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel of Satan to bête me and stop me from getting too proud! About this thing, I have pleaded with the Lord three times for it to leave me, but he has said, ‘My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness’. So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast so that the power of Christ may stay over me, and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses, and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake. For it is when I am weak that I am strong. (2 Cor: 12: 7-10)

God’s ways are not our own and no matter what our perception may be, good always wins out over evil.

In closing, I must announce that I am being recalled back to Jacksonville to my former position with St. Vincent’s Healthcare System. Bishop Estevez visited, ironically on the Feast of St. Peter and St. Paul, to inform me of his need for a diocesan priest to again be present for the Diocese in this most important area of serving God’s people during these difficult and confusing times with healthcare reform. Sadly, I cannot disagree with his request nor his assessment of the importance of our support for this important Catholic Hospital in our diocese. This ministry is one that I hold especially deep in my heart; one that I was called from by Bishop Galeone when I was sent to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. It is bittersweet to leave, yet, I know that God’s hand is so prevalent in this decision that it is truly the correct choice for my ministry.

In addition, Fr. Peter will be leaving St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in early November. Bishop Estevez has requested that Fr. Peter remain during the transition to assist the new pastor as he familiarizes himself with the parish.  As of yet Fr. Peter does not know where his new assignment will be but as soon as we know we will let everyone know.

I want to thank each of you for your many kindnesses to me during this past year and please rest assured that you will remain in my prayers as I trust I will remain in yours.