"O King of the gentiles and their desired One, the cornerstone that makes both one: come, and deliver man, whom you formed out of the dust of the earth."
Two thoughts fill my mind this day before the day before the eve before.
When I think of the "desired One," my thoughts turn to the people of the State of Vermont. This is a state that holds a special place in my heart and the hearts of my family members and friends. We vacationed in Vermont every single summer, on the shores of the White River, in a small town called Gaysville. Here is a photo of the Gaysville Post Office:
And here is the beautiful White River:
Why musings about Vermont this morning? Well, the Diocese of Burlington, Vermont, which covers the entire state, has been waiting for their own "desired one," a new bishop. And my friend Chris Coyne, currently the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, was named bishop of Burlington by Pope Francis this morning.
Chris and I were in the same homeroom our senior year at Woburn High School in Woburn, Massachusetts. We were in the same creative writing course with Miss Leverich that year. We spent time together preparing for the ordained priesthood at Saint John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts. Chris enjoys the blessings of the ordained priesthood and I, for my part, continue to enjoy and discern what it means to be a member of the priesthood of the laity! Our families were close; our sisters were very good friends. I lost touch with Chris over the years, but have been able to connect with him a few times over the past couple of years. He is an amazingly straight shooter; honest, articulate, deeply spiritual, and just plain hilarious at times. Chris, I saw this sign many times throughout my life; now it is a sign for you:
My second thought this morning is also about the "desired One." Yesterday, I had the privilege of driving a few miles west of Chicago; I needed to deliver a Christmas present to a Godson in Oak Park, Illinois. I decided to go to the 11:00 Mass at Ascension Parish. I have many colleagues here at WLP who minister there in the parish's music ministry, undoubtedly one of the finest parish music programs in North America.
The music drew me in; every piece's corresponding hymnal number was posted. The Eucharistic Acclamations were in a "call-response" format and were easily picked up. Lots of singing around me. and the choir was simply stunning. So proud that so many colleagues and friends lead people closer to Christ at this parish; I certainly felt closer to the "desired One" yesterday. After Mass, the choir had a short final rehearsal of their Christmas choral repertoire. What a treat! Here is my amateur video of a portion of Chrysogonus Waddell's Rosa Mystica.
I hope that you grow closer to the "desired One," the "Kind of the Gentiles" as Christmas approaches.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.