Another cold morning for this Saturday and I'm doing a little "picking up" around the house anticipating Brennan's arrival early this afternoon. She is going to be spending the night and making a Gingerbread House. I will also have the privilege of solo grandparenting for a few hours as Wendy has a wedding to coordinate this afternoon. When we bring Brennan home tomorrow we will hang out for a Christmas gathering with Wendy's small family. I'm glad the event is at my daughter's house in Slidell; it is such a nice house and the kids get to hang out and play at their place.
The big news in these parts was the painful but prudent decision to cancel our trip to North Carolina between Christmas and New Year to see the first two of our four grands. Our son filled us in on the pandemic issues facing his area of NC and it sounds just awful. Curfews in place, most stuff on shutdown and even rumors of travel restrictions and quarantines. While Wendy and I are profoundly disappointed at least I am a bit relieved because all of these issues are not deniable and need to be considered when deciding to travel. As it stands now we are planning for only 2 guests for Christmas Day dinner as one of my sisters opts not to travel since her first grandchild is scheduled to arrive two weeks later.
Christmas time will be very new for me yet it will be busy thanks to our many Church activities. I will be dealing with my current post banking career reality. While having moved on, I am not completely through dealing with the hurt and the injustice. I was very buoyed by a call I received yesterday from a fellow former colleague who was professionally executed by the same institution in the same manner as I was. Apparently there is a systemic problem in the geographic territory of that same institution where I worked. Still, I mostly choose, at this point, to just move on. An increasing number of clients have been calling to express their support and some assure me they will be looking for another bank.
In the place of those long stressful and, looking back with total honesty, unhappy days with this last bank I got stuck with (due to a purchase/buyout) I now hang out every day, M-F, at my beloved church parish as a Pastoral Assistant. This responsibility is different from being a Deacon for the same church although sometimes the various duties and responsibilities overlap. I could not be happier to be there everyday, working with the staff, interacting with parishioners, helping to do the things necessary to keep the parish pointed in the right direction administratively and other ways. Yet I am a Deacon so those opportunities to pray with and listen to our parishioners, give aid to the poor and homeless that do stop by every few days. Please understand, this is a part-time gig and does not offer the kind of pay and benefits I've grown used to over many years. However it is the perfect fit for me if I pull the trigger on retirement or as I await determination for disability benefits. Yes, I have enough medical issues to be considered for disability.
At good St. Jane parish and our mission church of St. Michaels we are planning for a busy Thursday-Sunday as Christmas arrives. Because of expected crowds and concerned with Covid19 related issues we are offering 4 masses on Christmas Eve including live-streaming the Mass to our adjacent hall. Also, the masses will be available on our website for those who can't come out. On Christmas Day we return with 2 masses. And time marches on, a morning Mass on Saturday, the 26th, and our regularly scheduled weekend masses since it will be Saturday and Sunday. Over the time span of the 24th-27th we will have celebrated 13 masses! Yes, it's the most busiest time of the year!
With all this said I believe it remains important to be in the moment. Today is Saturday and it is another Advent Day. We are at the 3rd day of the wonderful "O" antiphons, today's being: O Root of Jesse's stem, sign of God's love for all His people, come to save us without delay! We still have 5 full days of Advent to really prepare properly for the coming of the Lord, and as always, remember that does not just refer to His birth at Bethlehem for he also comes to us in the sacred mysteries and in the promised majesty of his 2nd coming!
So it's a perfect Saturday to be at home, tree lit, presents wrapped and some darn good football on the tube. But my focus today will be Brennan's visit and making right with al things good, thankful that the Lord's hand is upon me, even in this time of personal transition. May this Saturday be a blessing to you and another graced opportunity to give glory to God. Be well, be at peace.