A Thursday Reflection 4.26.18

A week ago, I was reading from one of my usual on-line spiritual reading sites, when I was almost knocked over by this posting by a Fr. Hankinson (from I know not where – and it matters not!)

This hit home for me – all the expectations and plans that were made through and post college, through and post seminary years later that did not occur because the Lord seemingly has different plans.  And this is not just about me!  One of the hardest spiritual disciplines to cultivate in one’s own spiritual life is the ability to “let go” and see God’s guidance in the unexplained or unplanned events of life – even the ones we dread.   So I share this reflection with you because it brought me so many memories.  I hope this does the same for you.

–          Fr.  Joe


It’s Not A Mistake
By the Rev. Ben Hankinson
God sometimes asks the unexpected. Approaching my senior year of seminary, I was about to start interviewing for positions. Then one day a name I had never heard came across my email: Trinity, Mt. Vernon. I had no clue where it was or how to be a priest in charge.

I had always assumed that I would be a curate or an assistant before I sat in the big chair. I knew the plan of how things were supposed to be, or so I thought. As it became abundantly clear that southern Illinois was about to play a significant role in my life, I wondered if God really knew what he was doing. Of course he does, but in the moment it can be hard to understand the path ahead.

As I write this, we stand on the cusp of the Sacred Triduum, and I am reminded of a somewhat similar exchange between Peter and the Lord at the Last Supper. John the Baptist and Peter object to the seemingly backward circumstances in which they find themselves. It seems like a mistake: Jesus should baptize John; Peter should wash the feet of Jesus.

And yet it is not in error that the Lord engages John or Peter or us. We cannot foresee all the stops along the way, nor can we always comprehend the rhyme or reason for certain people, places, and events. But so long as the journey’s end is found in Christ, so long as the signpost of the way is the Cross, when God asks us to take a detour from the roadmap we’ve laid out for ourselves, then we can do so with confidence and step out boldly in faith.