As you know I normally write my bulletin column on the Tuesday morning before it gets distributed at the Sunday Masses. Because of snow and wind the office is closed and Andrea is at her desk working on the bulletin and awaiting my column. How blessed we are to have Andrea and all of my very hard working and dedicated staff!!!
Early this morning I received a call that a great friend of mine had passed away. Rob was a firefighter who loved his job. I had known him and his wife Kathy for 20 years and I was blessed by the depth of his friendship. Over the 20 years he had promoted to Paramedic, Lieutenant, Captain and Battalion Chief. He, like a number of firefighters, had been in active service with the Air Force until he retired. For the last several years he had suffered with brain cancer. He had a depth of faith that sustained him and was of great witness to us. He really lived the words of Sacred Scripture “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!” (2 Tim. 4:7) Walking with him with this horrible cancer for the last several years I could see that he really lived out 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 “we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” Rob was a great witness to this in his life and was a great man of deep faith, deep love for his wife, family and friends and a great model of someone configured to Christ.
May we in our own lives, be that witness of faith in Jesus Christ to others and may each of us reflect the words of Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” May each of you be blessed by deep and abiding friendships in your life that will sustain you not only in this life, but in eternal life!