The metaphorical tapestry for our lives where we see only the tangled threads of the underside of the tapestry and God sees the beautiful and stunningly unique design on the right side of the tapestry is evident here at the Begijnhof. God has an ‘upside down universe’ — with apologies to the commentary where I read this term. Our resident priest has celebrated his Jubileum, 50 years as a priest; the picture on the now fashionable prayer cards is of him at about the age of 6-8 years dressed up playing priest with the Bible or missal in his hand. I guess we can be assured this man was called to be a priest. However, he now struggles with health issues; his walk is slow and he does not do steps. The Begijnhof is undoubtedly one of his final assignments. BUT no matter the walk or the steps, the voice and hands over the Eucharist are strong, steady, clear, secure and practiced. Nothing timid or frail there! His voice in homilies is distinct and the content is pointed with a message to take away and practice! God’s ‘upside down universe’! “The last shall be first and the first shall be last.” Matthew 20:16
Now that Eucharist is at 11 am, a more manageable time for our new priest, another aging priest attends regularly and he also walks with slow, halting gait to the altar. Both these priests come early to service and can be seen quietly praying and adoring in the congregation before Mass; they have taken time to prepare their hearts to celebrate Eucharist for us. The older priest sits near the sisters on my side only a step or two away from the altar; he has a wonderful smile and cheerful greeting as he passes us the peace. Then he slips forward beside our priest close enough I notice so his brother priest does not have to take an extra step to reach him. Lights will go out on earth when priests like these who love their God, their call, their church, and us their flock, go to be with their Savior. May there be many more like them, that their faithfulness may not have been in vain.
I know neither of these priests’ backgrounds; one I do not even know his name….. I only know what I see and it blesses me.