Lord, I Give You Thanks
March 15, 2022
To the Lord, I must say: “I don’t know how I received so many blessings but seeing the changes they have made in my life, and I give you thanks. I never expected to have the privilege of spending so much time in the Holy Land. It certainly wasn’t possible on my own. You have blessed me in ways I never expected. Throughout this pilgrimage, you have moved my heart, drawing me closer to you. Lord, your movements are secret, but looking back, they are clear. You have changed me for the better.
I’ve stood with awe at the place you were born, walked the paths of Galilee where you preached, and kept vigil through the night at the tomb where you were laid. I can’t help but feel a part of my soul has risen to you and returned anew. I know my frailty, so thank you for sharing your strength. My dearest hope is to retain these gifts and share them in my ministry. On this journey, I felt joy and excitement for my upcoming ordination. You showed me the beauty and breadth of the Church in a new way. Worshiping in Jerusalem together with people all around the world was something special. Thank you for continuing to guide and keep me on this pilgrimage.
You have moved me to gratitude through this journey, recalling my friends and family. It has been a special privilege to bring their intentions here to the holy land. Not everyone gets to share in this opportunity. Keep me mindful of that. Perhaps this is why so many shared my excitement when I told them I was coming to the Holy Land. In a way, I have tried to carry them with me and ask for your graces upon them. Those have been important prayers for me. Never let me grow bitter or stubborn, as I have much to be thankful for. Thank you for the reminders of the love and support back home.
Finally, dear Lord, never leave me to my abilities. Keep my heart and soul focused on you as we return from your home. The more I place you at the center, the more I see your blessings. I know you will sustain me throughout my life and ministry. You’ve shown me how you sustained Jesus through his ministry. We walked the same path Jesus did through his life. From Bethlehem, Galilee, and Jerusalem, I’ve seen what Jesus did in your name and what impact he had. May I recognize that same Spirit present in my own life. What a blessing this life and vocation truly is and will be. Thank you, Lord, for your grace, the people in my life, and the opportunity to meet you here in the Holy Land.”
God bless you all and see you back in the States.
Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau