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I was ordained in 1969. My first assignment was in Northbrook, Illinois. I remember quite vividly celebrating mass on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. 

At the end of the mass we set free several dozen helium balloons to symbolize Mary going up to heaven. It was a beautiful sight watching those balloons drift off into the heavens.There was one major problem, however. Our parish was nearby to the Glenview Naval Air Station. Their radar screens went crazy with dozens of unidentified foreign objects. And we heard about it!

Two thousand years ago there were no radar screens as Mary went up to heaven. A few years ago National Geographic Magazine named Mary The Most Powerful Woman in the World. Mary has appeared at Lourdes, Fatima, Guadalupe, Medjugorje and other places. None of this was her doing. Mary was chosen by God to be God’s instrument.   

Mary looked back in her life and saw surprises: She wasn’t even married and the Angel Gabriel told her she was going to be the mother of our Savior. God is a God of Surprises.

Mary looked inward and she kept exclaiming: “God has done such great things for me.”

Mary looked forward to raising Jesus, his public life, his death and Resurrection. God had many surprises in store for her throughout her life that she lovingly accepted

Mary looked upward on a continuing basis and connected with God. Mary gave God her address and the Angel Gabriel easily found her. We could well do the same as Mary. 

God said to Mary what God says to each one of us: “I am going to work WITH YOU, NOT FOR YOU.

We can do what Mary did – WORK WITH GOD….as God’s instrument in our world.

Please spend some time today reflecting on the words God spoke to Mary…..that God also speaks to YOU: “I am going to work WITH YOU, NOT FOR YOU.”  Where is God working WITH YOU in your life today?

“I am going to work WITH YOU, not FOR YOU!”  —   GOD

Please keep the people in Haiti in your prayers today and in the days and weeks to come. A devastating 7.2 earthquake hit the peninsula west of Port au Prince early Saturday morning. Many people have died, many are severely injured and people are still trapped in the debris. Hurricane Matthew hit this same area in Haiti on October 4, 2016 with 145 mph winds and flooding that destroyed farm lands, carried off animals and leveled countless shacks and buildings. Over 1.4 million people lost most or all of the little they possessed. This area still has not recovered.

We in the United States paid little or no attention to the fury and the devastation of Hurricane Matthew since it was only a month before our heated 2016 election. The question I still ask myself several times each day, “What if I had been born in Haiti?” The country you and I were born in makes all the difference in the world to the lives we have led. No matter our age or our circumstances, God has work for all of us to do for God and for all of God’s children, our brothers and sisters.

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