Greetings again! It has been a quick past two months for me. I cannot believe that I am already more than halfway through this semester. It has been good, though. Classes are not as rigorous as in the past years, and I am comfortable calling it home.
Here are a few things about the past months. At the beginning of September, we had a free weekend, and then at the beginning of October, we had another free weekend. For the first weekend, we went on a trip to the beach, and I also went on a hike in West Virginia. For the other free weekend, I went up to Rhode Island to step back from the busy seminary schedule for some needed rest. Later in September, we had an excursion. For the excursion, we went on a 10-mile walk on a towpath that was previously used for donkeys to pull boats up a canal from D.C. to further into the state. Later, we had a cookout with the school of philosophy. In October, I participated in the Tough Mudder, a 10K run with 20 obstacles to get through. There was indeed a lot of mud and it was more difficult than I had imagined. Finally, we went to a parish in southern Maryland to celebrate Sunday Mass with them.
During this parish visit, the priest gave a powerful homily about the giving and receiving of the people to God and God to the people during the Mass. He focused on the gifts which are brought up to the priest during Mass. He said that the physical gifts that are brought up (bread, wine, collection) represent the total gift of the people to God — they give all of themselves to God. The priest, who bridges the gap between God and man, receives these gifts with empty hands, he is empty of himself. All that he has is his consecrated hands which receive and offer these gifts (bread and wine) so that they become the very Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. This giving and receiving is finally brought back to the people who receive the greatest gift, God Himself, in the Sacred Host. May we all give of ourselves more fully to God so that he may transform us into images of His Son, Jesus Christ.
May God bless you!