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Bonus Bishop

A couple of months ago, our Diocese ordained a new bishop. We watched the celebration online at that time. He seemed very kind and humble. He has been making his rounds of the parishes and was scheduled to celebrate the 9:30 Mass this morning at our church. We debated about going as we wanted to see him, but didn’t really want to be in the big crowd that would be in attendance. In any case, we had a bit of a late start this morning and couldn’t make it anyways. I felt bad because I knew my mom was disappointed. We got ready and my mom wasn’t feeling great, so wasn’t sure she would go at all. But, she decided to give it a try and we made our way to the later Mass. When we arrived, I noticed the bishop was there in the back of the church. I thought perhaps he was staying around to greet the incoming parishioners. Then, the pastor made the announcement that the bishop would be celebrating the next Mass too. We were thrilled. He was very humble and soft spoken. He told a story about how he was in line at a fast food restaurant several years ago, and when he was going to pay at the window, he was told that the person in front of him paid for his meal. He asked if that person had recognized him. The employee replied, “No, Father, it’s not about you.” She proceeded to explain to him that it started 4 cars ahead of him. That first car had paid for the person behind them and so on. Now it was his turn to be the recipient. Then the girl paused as if to ask what he was going to do. The bishop looked behind him to the SUV with 4 large men inside. Their order came to $43. The bishop had $44, so he paid for their meal and gave the girl a $1 tip. He left feeling pretty good about the situation. He then connected the story to how God gives us gifts all the time without us doing a thing. He puts breath in our lungs and continues our beating heart. The question for us is, what are we going do next? Do we hoard our gifts to ourselves, or do we pass them along? I loved his way of getting the message across. After Mass, the bishop stood at the door to say goodbye to people as they left. When my mom came to him with her walker, he touched her shoulder and blessed her. At lunch, my mom talked about how happy she was that she went to church, that the bishop was there, and how special it was for her to receive that blessing.

I Found God today in a special blessing from the bishop.

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