The Lord Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.

A little play on words from today’s first reading:

Beloved:
Grace, enamored of the present world,
deserted me and went to Cedar Ridge (with Christopher),
Jerome to Ellisville (with Megan), Cecilia to Los Angeles (with Garrett) and Titus to Ballwin, just down the paved path a bit (with another called Megan).
Mary, Anthony and Teresa are the only ones with me.
Get Sarah and bring her with you,
for she is helpful to me in the ministry.
I have sent Ruth to Webster Groves with Paul.
When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas,
the papyrus rolls – or better yet, the King’s Hawaiian, and especially the parchments.

A little corny -yeah, but today’s readings fit in with the “goings on” in my life right now.  My daughter Cecilia – the one who went to Los Angeles, has come home to celebrate (3) weddings over the next 26 days.  Richard and Megan on 10-27, Mary and Justin this weekend and Mattie and Matthew the second weekend of November.  Much in the way Jesus appointed seventy-two disciples whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit, we as parents prepare our children and send them off in pairs, young couples ready to face the world and carry on the traditions and values we have passed onto them.

These occasions can bring many emotions – joy, excitement, frustration, pride…and for many of us melancholy as you see the child you brought into this world, you raised for 20+ years, laughed with, cried with, grounded, bailed out of trouble, coached sports and so on, are now heading out to start the next chapter, the next adventure on their own.  You are excited for the wedding day, you are excited for the independence they are going to have, you are excited that their is one less driver you’ll have to insure.  But, truth be told, it can hard to let go.

Last night was great example of this.  We went and picked Cecilia up from the Airport, had a nice meal together and came home to help her get ready to leave right away to go help her best friend Mary  make the final preparations for her wedding this weekend.  After all the hugs and kisses from her family, I was sitting on the couch watching TV – ready to pass out – and Richard came downstairs with all of his clothes, gave me his nod of the head (meaning peace, out) and loaded up his car and left.  For years I have been on my kids (jokingly of course) to get a job, get married and get off my “payroll”.  And watching him, quietly in the dark of the evening, walk out the door with his clothes, a bit of reality struck me and I realized, half of my children are grown and out the door.  Last night a small tear dripped down my cheek and even as I type this this morning, my eyes are tearing up.  Yes, even the GBear can get emotional.  It is hard to let the children go when you’ve spent most of your life dancing to the Santana song – Let the Children Play.  Well, they will continue to play, but now with families of their own.

I love my kids, I love the spouses they’ve chosen and I love that they are growing and moving on to start families of their own.  But it is still hard to say good bye, good luck and God speed.  Richard’s last words to me last night still ring in my ears.  “I hope when I get older I can be half the man that you are Dad.”  How did I reply?  I told him to quit cutting fat jokes.

Do something great for our Lord today – hug the kids He blessed you with and tell them how glad you are to be their parent(s).

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

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