Tonight I went to 5pm mass with Carleen’s family. The mass was being said for Carleen’s brother Dominick, who had passed away many years ago. Still very painful for all of them.
Although I had already heard the readings this morning, I heard it with a new spin this evening.
Tonight was Fr. Frank Gomez’s final mass as he begins his new position assisting the bishop. He explained the sacrament of Baptism in such a simple, yet powerful, way. He said there are two parts to it……a sacrament in the first place is a tangible sign of God in our lives that give us grace (I am paraphrasing!). The first part of Baptism is a tangible sign using water that brings God’s grace to us through the sacrament. It puts an end to Original Sin and starts us anew in God’s love. The second part, however, puts us on the mission to live with that grace to live out the purpose God has for us…whatever that plan might be. He has a purpose for us.
In three different ways I saw endings and new beginnings tonight.
- In memory of Dominick is the sad ending of a physical life with the very real spiritual life of eternal life. That is our faith! That is why we do this thing called Faith!
- In Baptism for Jesus, his purpose was put into motion! For us, through Baptism, original sin ends and our path that God has for us is laid for us to look forward to and follow.
- For Fr. Frank it was a sad end for the people of St. John parish. They, especially the youth in the parish, love him. Yet, it is his new beginning that he is so excited for. His faith that this is a good thing for him was clear.
A “beginning “can’t happen unless there is an “end”, and an “end” implies that there must have been a “beginning”. That is the story of our faith and physical lives.
And by the way……..it struck me as odd that there are suddenly 3 important “Franks” in our Diocese…..Pope Francis, Bishop Frank, and now his assistant, Fr. Frank! Kind of interesting!