St. Paul proclaims to Timothy, “Stir into flame the gift of God that you have received by being blessed.” Each of us feels that we are blessed, as I proclaimed last week, because overall, we have enough going for us—so we are blessed. So, stir into flame now that blessing we have. Church, this last Friday, I had the homegoing of my best friend, Fr. Don Buhr. The reason he is my best friend is because our friendship made us close and we celebrated each year a retreat where we encouraged each other to go for eight days. We would have our own individual place but we would gather together for mass. Doing the math, I think that was over 350 masses that we celebrated together. We always prepared the mass. Fr. Don liked to sing, so we would have four songs and we would sing all the verses. Most of the time just the two of us praying but sometime someone else in the retreat house would join us. Just last year, Fr. Don drove and we went down to Springfield, Mo to a Trappist Monastery in the little town of Ava. We as always when we would come back from retreat would feel that we had stirred ourselves into knowing that we had been blessed. So, start blessing others as much as you can!
Also, it is good to see that Fr. Don has been for me a companion on the journey. His journey is now complete and I will celebrate that but I sure will miss him because we always went on retreat together. But we stir into flame all the blessings we have had and we can see ourselves and reflecting on being a companion on the real journey which is union with God. We celebrate Jesus’ Paschal mystery which is dying for us but yet rising for us, so that as I think of Don and everyone that I bury, they are now with God in a special way and God is in charge of everything!
Now it is good this week to see yourself as a companion on the journey. Think of the people that you have journeyed with—those who have helped you to better understand that the most important thing is union with the Lord. That is a good blessing to stir into flame and appreciate all the people who have been companions for you on the journey. Think of all the people you have helped to reach that very desire and special union with the Lord. So, keep it up, Church. It is a celebration today so stir those blessings into flame and spread the word.