Big birthday

by Fr. Jeff

For ya’lls birthday, what if we go to the park? You can bring the boat you’ve been working on, and we can sit at a picnic table while the kids play.

It was my sister’s idea for a birthday party for myself and her husband to celebrate our “big birthday.”

At the park the weather was perfect. The kids played in the grass, and we sat in lounge chairs enjoying the company of family and friends. I soaked in the joy of a birthday celebration sitting in the evening sun.

My thoughts turned to the future as I watched the shadows disappear.

Lord, what is man that you care for him, mortal man, that you keep him in mind; man, who is merely a breath, whose life fades like a passing shadow? –Psalm 144

I know that the sun will set in my own life and in the lives of those I love quickly. Celebrating birthdays in the park today, though, I had an insight into the joy of eternal life. We were there in the park because we loved.

Looking forward to eternal life, I hope to share that same joy of celebrating the real “big birthday”: rejoicing that the boat of the Church brought us to the park of eternal life where the sun never sets, the grass is always green, and love never fades.

Bring us home to You at the sunset of our life, that we may celebrate with You our real

big birthday.