Pastor’s Reflection for July 9, 2017

Dear Parishioners,

I wrote this article, Lessons from a Branch, for the Focus on Faith column in the Wakefield Daily Item.  I would like to share it with you this weekend.

Picture this imaginary scenario.  A man enjoys going down to the lake to spend time alone.  He spends time reading, reflecting on his life, and observing the beauty around him.  Around the lake are lovely fruit trees.  It just so happens that there is a gorgeous apple tree beside his favorite bench.  The tree produces fragrant blossoms and ripe, juicy apples.  One day, when the man is sitting quietly on the bench, observing the beauty of nature around him, he hears a voice. He turns around to see who is speaking but there is no one there.  It must have been the rustling of the trees or possibly a bird in a tree.  Wait, there it is again.  What is that?  He can’t see anyone.  Is someone hiding?  The man turns toward the sound and cannot believe his ears.  It is the branch of the apple tree talking to him.  How can this be?  He wants to get up and run.  Perhaps he needs to get to a hospital.  Perhaps he is hallucinating….but he calms down and realizes that this is actually happening.  There is truly a tree branch talking to him. 

The man cautiously begins to talk to the branch describing how strange it is.  The branch admits it is odd but it does indeed have the ability to talk.  The conversation begins hesitantly for the man but the branch is very comfortable in speaking.  After that, each day, the man would come to the lake and have a conversation with the branch.  The man shared stories about himself and became relaxed in talking to the branch.  At this point, he is developing a friendship with the branch.  The branch speaks to him of how it has a good sleep in the winter, how it dresses itself with beautiful blossoms in the spring, and how it yields large, juicy fruits in the later summer and fall.  Their friendship is growing strong and one day, the branch asks the man if he could take the branch home so they could be together always. The man agrees that would be nice but says that if he were to take the branch home, he would have to cut it from the tree and it would die.  He explains that the tree is the source of life for the branch and they cannot be separated.

The branch says “I forgot that I rely on the tree for all that I have.  I started to think that I was the reason for my beauty, my fruits and my existence.” The branch continued “I had it all wrong.”  He thanked the man for reminding him and setting him straight.

Are we not like the branch? How many of us live, at times, as though we are the source of all that we do and have? Yes, we can do many wonderful things, and achieve much success however it is due to the grace of God.  Let us not forget that God created us for an intimate relationship with Him.

May Jesus continue to shepherd you in all of your needs.

God love you,