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What's That, Fr. Matt?

Our Young Visitor

Posted by Fr. Matt Oprendek on with 3 Comments

HC, our niece from Louisiana, is visiting New York City for the first time. She is *super* cute, and yes, I know, I’m partial!  

When HC first arrived with her mother (my sister-in-law), HC was a little shy.  It had been over a year since I had seen her last, and she wasn’t *sure* if she remembered me or not.  Her little brain may have been thinking, “Do I know him? Everyone else seems to —but I’m just not sure yet.”

As we spent a little more time together, she began to share her four-year-old thoughts more freely with me, and her child-like ease and trust returned. She has now evidently concluded that I’m family and that we belong together.  We’re good.  Whew.

And now I wonder if God ever feels like this.  I mean, we wander around, doubting, questioning, unsure whether God is actually like a loving Father or not.  Everyone at church seems to know that God is love, but in our own hearts, we might feel like saying, “I’m just not sure yet.”

Seems like the only remedy is to spend more time with the One who loves us. Watching for the signs, gathering evidence through the many ways we’re blessed, and listening with our hearts for what we suspect might be true. Over time, we begin to share more freely with God.  And over time, if we’re daring, the child-like ease and trust might set in.   

So I’m thinking: if I’m super crazy with affection toward my nieces and nephews, how much MORE is God longing to bless me (and all of us) with love, joy and peace?  How much more does God want me to know how deep that eternal love really is?  And I wonder: how long will it take me to relax and realize that I’m unconditionally loved?  To realize ultimately … that we belong together.  

Watching, listening, paying attention, and praying — this old heart of mine just might catch on.  May it be so!

[On a personal note: It’s been a pleasure writing these weekly meditations for our parish blog.  These blog entries will all remain online for a while, and I encourage you to scroll through the archives to see if there are some entries you might have missed or to re-read your favorites.  

As I leave Christ Church Garden City and the writing of this blog, I carry with me the joy of knowing that my words and ideas may have been helpful and encouraging to many of you.  May God richly bless you — and may you always remember, we ALL belong to God — the One who loved us first and loves us best.] 


Joan September 30, 2016 5:06pm

Thank you for writing this week Fr Matt, I was hoping they would continue as they are so inspirational. I have saved everyone

Geri T. September 30, 2016 6:03pm

One last great blog! I enjoy them all, and hope to learn from them. May it be so!!

Nancy October 2, 2016 7:50am

We will miss you!