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You Never Know

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You never know what the day will bring. Father Emery Kibal is a Passionist priest from the Democratic Republic of Congo who’s staying with us this year here in Jamaica, New York and serving as chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Rockville Center, Long Island. A few weeks ago as he was coming down the hospital stairs his mobile phone rang. It was the Apostolic Delegate from the Congo.

“Pope Francis wants you to be the bishop of the Diocese of Kole in the Democratic Republic of Congo.” “Can I have some time to think it over,” Father Emery said. “When Mary was asked by the angel to be the Mother of God, she answered immediately,” the Apostolic Delegate said.

“What could I say to that?” Father Emery said afterwards. He will be ordained bishop in the Congo in July.

You never know what the day will bring. The diocese Bishop Emery will lead faces hard times. Some months ago the Archbishop of Kinshaha in the Congo was visiting our community on his way to Washington to ask the American government to stop arms shipments to his country where armed bands are causing hardship and widespread disruption.

Yet as you see, the new bishop laughs. In today’s readings for Mass, St.Paul says “ I do not shrink from proclaiming to you the entire plan of God.” He’s convinced the Spirit of God is his guide and support in the ministry God gives him.

In the gospel today, Jesus prays for those who follow him

“I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours
and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”

In one sense, we never know what’s before us. Yet, faith doesn’t flinch before the unknown. The psalm verse for today says:

“Blessed day by day be the Lord,
who bears our burdens; God, who is our salvation.
God is a saving God for us;
the LORD, my Lord, controls the passageways of death.”

God bless you, Bishop Emery.