Occasionally a visiting priest celebrates mass at our parish. My favorite is the brown bag priest. “Father Brown Bag” has been retired for over 11 years but has not lost his touch; he is still one of the most captivating speakers I have ever heard. His shtick is the contents in the brown paper bag and its correlation to your life. Walking up and down the aisle, he shakes the brown paper bag quizzing parishioners to guess what is in it. Our flock is always at a loss; 10 or more yell out guesses, but there’s never a winner-winner chicken dinner. “Father Brown Bag” is pretty sly as the bag’s contents are always related to the gospel reading for the day; by the time the bag’s content is revealed, we have all been reeled into his homily hook, line and sinker! So, what was in the bag this week, you ask? His Wallet. What does this Wallet represent? Acceptance of ourselves or others? Conflicts within ourselves? A feeling of empowerment over others? Self-identity?
Reflecting on my walk-through life, I see the path zigzagging, priorities ever-changing. Running from the past, fearful of the future. Trying to please others, I drift from my internal belief of right from wrong, eventually finding I am at odds with myself.
The biggest question that lingers as I travel down the path of life is; am I following the path God planned for me, or have I paved the path I want? Proverbs 3:6 “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Every day, we must reflect on what we want our lives to represent, where we are being led, and find clarity in our calling. Matthew 7:4 “For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” With faith and trust in our Lord, one can always find their way back on the path God has chosen for us. We must remember it is never too late to plant the roots of a robust and faithful life, allowing the roots to run deep, bringing forth strength, tenacity, and hearts full of kindness, generosity, and love.