Wonderful people whose lives intersect with ours are a tremendous blessing.
That is the best part of life as I have experienced it, and a gift that can
keep on giving. Facebook allows more contact with friends from the past than any other medium, but personal contact is the best, and this continues to be quite a year of that for me. Being back in Portland allows reconnection with friends and
associates from twenty-five years ago. And I am experiencing a lot more reconnecting
I was a Rector at the University of Notre Dame for eleven years. I left there for
Africa eleven years ago, but still officiate at the weddings of former students,
and every wedding is a mini-reunion. This year, I have been at 4 such weddings
and have four more such commitments before year’s end. A cousin is getting
married in the fall, so there will be a reunion on the grand scale, with an extended
family membership of several hundred!
It has been 50 years since eighth grade, and I have not one, but two reunions
this summer! St. Nicholas was my educational patron from kindergarten
through sixth grade; St. Edmund watched over my seventh and eighth grade
years. I remember most of my classmates from both schools, and look forward
to consecutive weekends with them.
This summer members of the Congregation of Holy Cross get together
at Notre Dame for a week -- another four hundred or so friends with whom to
reconnect. Basically, this year has the potential of allowing reconnection with
every person I have ever known who is still living! And, of course, I am still
meeting new people, some of whom will have as profound an affect on my life
as the many who came before.
Reunions are great. When we are able to relate the truths of our lives to those
who helped form those truths, we enter a level of communication free of pretense
and agenda. We let ourselves be known as we truly are, and we experience
others the same way. Whether it is at a peak life experience like a wedding
or funeral, or a routine one like a reunion, we get one more chance to discover the incarnate God in the other and to let others discover God’s presence in ourselves.
And we learn that a large part of God’s agenda, too, is that we all just be—