I went to our parish to serve as Lector at mass, conscious that it would be my last chance to serve this year, since I am going away on vacation. I knew that it was also going to be my last Sunday mass at that church for 2010. That it happened on the last Sunday in Ordinary Time for the liturgical year seemed significant for me. It was a solemn Eucharistic celebration and I felt, I sensed, something. I felt God moving my heart, and opening it up for the new things that lie just around the corner.
Next week, a new liturgical year starts with the first Sunday of Advent. And I will not be hearing mass here. I will be in another place, not part of my plan but a huge blessing nevertheless, to be with the Missionaries of God's Love's 25th anniversary and to witness a friend's initial vows.
I will also have a golden opportunity to celebrate many birthdays and occasions with my family. I am looking forward to everything, not just the planned trips but also the lazy afternoons with my favorite niece (I have only one). I am going to a once-in-a-lifetime concert event (U2!) that I have never even dreamed possible for me to attend. I will also be with my siblings and parents whom I have missed the past year.
I will leave my workplace and my home temporarily to come back to them refreshed. I will meet new people and hang out with old friends. I will visit new places and rediscover favorite haunts. I will take photos and write in my journal. The last vacation like this that I had was five years ago. Exactly five years ago.
I have forgiven, I have loved, I have given, I have received. My heart is light. Work is hard but I am still able to find joy in it. I have found who my real friends are. I have redefined my service and purpose in life. These were my thoughts during mass. I thanked God for them all. My heart seems to have expanded.
I cannot fully express what is happening, because so many things are happening. One thing is for sure, this is all God's plan unfolding. And I am genuinely surprised.