May 10, 2020 – Father’s Ramblings

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, The Lord is Risen! He is truly Risen!

Governor Whitmer has extended the declaration of emergency through May 28th. As of the writing of this letter there has been no extension of the restrictions by Bishop Walkowiak, but that could of course change. For now, the suspension of the public Masses and devotions continues through May 17th. Remember, I am still hearing Confessions at the regular times and Jesus is still in the tabernacle waiting for a visit.

Thank you again to all who have been sending in their tithes and who have filled out their CSA pledge cards. This has been a huge help. At St. Mary we did apply for one of the small business loans so that we could have given everyone back their hours, but we were too late. Unbeknownst to us there was a small window of opportunity at the bank, and we missed it. We were not even able to apply for St. Anthony. Thank you for helping people stay employed, even if only partially.

Last week I broached the uncomfortable subject of the costs that we need to weigh as a society. The loss of lives on one side of the equation is met by the loss of wellbeing by many more on the other side. I am not sure what the right answer to the question is, but it still warrants our consideration. This week I am going to bring the topic a little closer to home in that we all need to assess our risk tolerance.

To live is to take risks. Whether you like hearing this or not, you will never be perfectly safe on this earth. This is easy to say because no one gets out of here alive. No matter how many safeguards are put in place, there will always be dangers, there will always be death.

To truly live, though, means to take risks. This is certainly what Scripture teaches us. Abraham became the father of a host of nations because he risked leaving his homeland. The Blessed Virgin became the mother of all the faithful because she risked saying yes to God and becoming an unwed mother. Jesus is our savior because He risked the cruel torments of the Cross on His way to the Resurrection.

If we take the briefest moment to check our lives, often it is the biggest risks that come with the biggest rewards. Marriage is a risk, but also the possibility for incredible richness in life. Having children is a huge risk, and a huge reward. Stepping into a new job comes with new risks and new opportunities. Just taking a drive comes with many risks.

There are many things we can do to mitigate risks on various fronts. You date someone for a while, get to know them, before you marry them. You wear a seatbelt in the car to minimize the risk of injury. At the bare minimum you check the freshness date on the milk carton before you drink the milk.

No matter what we do, though, in this life we will never truly be safe. There will always be some risk, and we need to balance in our lives the risk we take versus the reward we seek in our lives.

This is a hard reality that each and every one of us needs to wrestle with. As with so many things there isn’t just one answer. A twenty-something single guy might enjoy taking greater risks and having some sweet adventures as the result. A mother who just gave birth to her fourth child is likely comfortable with fewer risks because she is responsible for more than just herself. People well into retirement might again be comfortable with greater risks because there are more years behind them than ahead of them.

We will never be truly safe in this life. To live is to take risks. If someone is promising you safety in this life, what they are really selling is fear. The price of that fear is your freedom. As I have said many times before, fear is the tool of the evil one to keep us enslaved. We certainly need to be wise, to not take foolish risks, to do what we can to mitigate the possibilities of harm. We also need to reject fear so that we can live in the freedom of the children of God.

May the peace of God be with you always!

–Fr. Ferris

Rev. Aaron Ferris
Rev. Aaron R. Ferris Ordination Date: June 6, 2009 Pastor, St. Anthony Parish (Saranac) and St. Mary’s Parish (Lowell) 402 Amity Street Lowell, MI 49331 Phone: 616-897-9820
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