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THAT WHICH REMAINS THE SAME

Last Thursday (January 31, 2019) was is the feast of Blessed John Bosco. This day has special meaning for me. When I was a child, we lived for a couple of years in St. Francisville but then moved to Baton Rouge, where were all enrolled into Our Lady of Mercy Elementary School. At that time, the school was staffed and run by the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco. They wore a full habit year-round, wearing black during the winter months and white during the summer. John Bosco was lifted up for us, daily, as someone who devoted his life to the education and faith formation of children. The Gospel for that day’s Mass was perfect for his feast day, in, that, it is so important for us to help children embrace the light that is within them and, as Jesus, says, to let it shine. This day is special to me for another reason, however. Looking back on my childhood, I am led to recall, as many of us do, “how things were” back then. The presence of nuns is rare, at least in our area today. The seasons of the year were more distinct: winter, spring, summer, fall. The pace of life wasn’t nearly as fast-paced and busy as it is now. And stores, for the most part, closed on Sunday. In short, the Sabbath was more clearly visible and more consciously kept. Obviously, things will continue to change. This has been and will be the case at any point in our history. A healthy rhythm between work and rest will continually be challenged by busyness and the desire to do, be, and have more. Technology will become an even more integrated staple in our lives. The greatest challenge of all will probably be in building relationships, and the greatest “disease”, if you will, may more than likely become loneliness, if we’re not already there now. While all of this is important to acknowledge, grow with, and learn from, dwelling on it and worrying about it will get us nowhere. Our primary focus should be, not on what is changing, but on that which has, is, and always will remain the same: God’s fidelity to us and promise of unconditional love and protection. I enjoy “looking back” just as much as the next person. And it’s certainly important to look forward, to some extent. But right now, in this moment? Let’s be reminded, that, as St. Francis de Sales wonderfully said, “the same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you today and every day.”