From the Pastor’s Desk – April 23, 2017

Last Monday morning, I was picked up by a parishioner who brought me to San Jose airport so that I could fly south to visit my dad and family in Fullerton, CA. Everyone who goes to the airport knows the drill, look at your ticket, are you TSA Pre, require special boarding assistance, or have a CLEAR identity card to reduce the waiting time going through security. At the TSA check point, you show your paper or e-ticket proceed to one of the security lines, have your carry on items scanned and then pass through one of the detectors.
In the process of putting personal items through the scanner, I placed my phone, ID and belt in the small container provided. Because of the early hour of the day, catching an 8:15 AM flight, not fully awake, I retrieved my phone, belt and my backpack and proceeded to the gate. I met some other parishioners also traveling that day, enjoyed conversation with them and then patiently waited for the flight to depart. We boarded the aircraft on time, had a smooth flight to Santa Ana and arrived at John Wayne airport, picked up my check in bag and walked to the rental car counter to pick up my car.
Approaching the counter, I suddenly realized I was missing an essential item, my California Driver’s License, my ID. No ID, no car rental, no transportation. I did not retrieve my license from the little white basket used in the scanner, in too much of a hurry. I called my sister, and fortunately she and my brother could change plans and drive to the airport to pick me up. I am not a “Lyft” or “Uber” user yet, but I may be sooner than I think.
How easy it is to take for granted the privileges we have with an ID, or Credit Card, or other personal item until we lose it or misplace it. The feeling of panic was significant needless to say. I could not rent the car and I could not drive while I was there, a major challenge. However, having a smart phone and laptop computer allowed me to fill out the lost item report, send it in, and on Tuesday received an email the item was found — such great relief.
How often do we take our Catholic identity for granted, our Baptism for granted, the privileges we receive related to our being a member of the church? We can’t misplace our faith, or lose our membership to the church for no ID is required, however we can let our membership, our activity as a baptized person lapse. How many people think or believe that going to church once or twice a year is enough? But knowing when and where we are baptized can and does open other doors for faithful Christians. Easter is the season to reflect on who we are, what our identity is in Christ and how valuable that belonging really is.
My mother always recommended that we put things in their proper place, the ID in the wallet, keys on the tray, and other necessary personal items so they could easily be found when needed. I will not forget this episode and will be much more conscious of what I do with my ID in airports in the future. Are we equally conscious of who we are as followers of Christ, disciples who have an identity imprinted on our beings, an identity that we can’t literally lose, but we can misplace it by not acknowledging it when we could or need to?
It is a joy to be a faithful person, one who belongs, one who is baptized and in this Easter season, when we renew our baptismal promises are called to live out this faith by the way we remember who we are.
Easter Blessings, Fr. Larry Hendel, Pastor

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