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Farewell from Father Grant

Editor’s Note: Say goodbye at any of the Aug. 17 & 18 weekend Masses or plan to attend a reception following the 10:00 a.m. Mass on Sunday, August 18.

 

Farewell

by Father John Grant

 

Dear Parishioners:

Nearly a year ago, I shared that this year was the first since I was very young that I did not go “back-to-school.” Well, it seems that the Lord has called me back to the halls of academia to further perfect my mind and heart for the service of His people in Eastern Oklahoma. And so it is with sorrow that I bid farewell to Holy Family Cathedral, but it is a sorrow full of optimism and joyful anticipation of my return to the Diocese after fulfilling my course of studies. I for one, will be ever grateful that my first assignment has been Holy Family. The graces of serving in the heart of our diocese have formed me with a stable beginning to, what I hope will be, decades of priestly ministry. And so, for that, I thank the families and people of our parish, and especially Msgr. Gier. For sharing your lives with me and welcoming me into yours.

Its hard not to be excited by the “mysterious ways” of our God, who is always calling us to follow Him in paths that are “ever ancient, ever new.” Last week, Pope Francis celebrated the 28th World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with 3.2 million people. With the charism of his radical simplicity, he called Catholic youth to those familiar themes of our Gospel mission: to go, to not be afraid, and to serve. It is not always apparent why God calls us to do the things He calls us to do or go to the places He calls us to go, but that’s only because we lack the perspective to see the good He has planned for our lives and the lives of others. But when the deed is done and we are able to look back, then we can see how gloriously orchestrated our whole lives have been.

Our duty is to remain always watchful and attentive to the new ways that He is calling us. We must never grow mulish in our discernment of God’s will for our lives. There may be a temptation to discern our life vocation, or which job to take, or where to live, and then to stop and say, “I’ve done it. I’ve discovered God’s will for my life and now I can get on about the business of accomplishing it. Thanks God, I’ll talk to you again if I need help…” But recall for a moment the life of Abraham who the Lord called to sacrifice his only son, Isaac. (cf. Gen. 22:1-12) If Abraham received God’s will as a simple set of orders and ceased to listen and pray, he would have missed the countermand that stayed his sabered hand. Maybe that’s too easy of an example. Then consider the life of St. Frances of Rome, who wanted to give her life to the Lord in a good and laudable way as a nun, but whom God had called to marriage and motherhood so she could give to God a life even better. Better because it was His will. So instead of asking God to do her will, she eventually acquiesced to His will, and not only that once but again and again throughout her troubled life in things big and small.

God has a will for every part of our lives, not just the big parts, and His will rarely follows a straight line. More often it is a series of paths that turn this way and that guiding us past obstacles and pit falls to the fulfillment of our lives. This is not hard to imagine if we remember that God is a loving Father, who, like any of us might do, guides us by the hand as we would a child to protect them from harm; if only we will keep our hand in His, not running ahead or falling behind. I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me next. And no matter where He may lead me, I am what I am by the favor of His grace and the fervor of your prayers. Tulsa will always be my home and I look forward to returning. But for now I will continue the Lord’s bidding to go, to not be afraid, and to serve. May the Lord bless you and your families as abundantly as He has blessed me!

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One Response to "Farewell from Father Grant"

  1. Anna Knotts says:

    You will definitely be missed, and we also look forward to your return visits. You are in our prayers!

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