Dear Parishioners,

The pigeon is an awkward bird. We all know the unusual way in which a pigeon walks: taking a few steps, stopping, moving his head forward and backward and then taking a few more steps. As unattractive as this mode of locomotion is, it happens for a reason. A pigeon, you see, is unable to focus his eye when in motion. Therefore, every few steps he needs to stop and refocus in order to see. Without this starting and stopping, pigeons would be unable to know where they are going.

This pattern of stopping and refocusing might serve as a helpful reminder to us. Often, we are so thoroughly in motion that we do not stop to see some of the important possibilities in our lives.

Jesus points to one of these possibilities in today’s Gospel. He says, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” This is a tremendous promise because Jesus promises to be with us when we gather in his name. But what does it mean to gather in Jesus’ name? It means to encounter another person consciously aware that Jesus will be present in the meeting. This is why we need to stop and refocus. If we simply busy ourselves through all the hours of our day without any stopping and reflecting, we will indeed gather with other people, but we might well miss the presence of Christ in our midst.

It is one thing to help your son or daughter with homework. But it is another thing to consciously bring Christ into that meeting, to realize that Christ is with you as you help. When we know that Christ is with us, it is easier to be patient and attentive to the needs of our child.

It is one thing to listen to a friend or a coworker as they go through a difficult patch, hearing the pain as they break up with their boyfriend or lose their job or grieve the death of a parent. But it is another thing to listen consciously aware that Christ is with us. When we carry Christ into that meeting, we are more likely to be compassionate and helpful to the person in need.

It is one thing to decide to go out with our friends to relax, to get a bite to eat and see a movie. But it is another thing to go out aware that Christ is with us. Bringing Christ with us allows us to laugh more deeply and to be more thankful for the opportunities and the relationships that have been given to us.

Every time that we encounter another person, Christ can be present with us. The way that we live at home, at work, or at school can be deeper when we enter those situations in the name of Christ. Unless a pigeon stops every few steps and refocuses, it is unable to see. The same is true for us. In this upcoming week we will connect with all kinds of people. Let us remember that as we  encounter them, we can bring Christ into that meeting. And if we do so, we will not be disappointed. Bringing Christ with us allows us to live with more awareness and more life. It permits us to see how Christ is present in every person we meet.

Fr. Monteleone

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