Rector’s Weekly Reflection
June 4, 2023
Dear People of God,
We celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity this weekend. We also celebrate the marvelous graduating Class of 2023 from Francis Xavier Warde School. Congratulations and God’s Blessings to the excellent Class of 2023. May you always walk with the Lord Jesus.
Again, we celebrate the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Father-Son-Holy Spirit, which also has been termed Creator-Redeemer-Sanctifier. No matter the language, the essence of the Holy Trinity speaks of relationships and being a life-giver. Do we seek to bring life, hope and joy to all we meet? The Trinity is a relationship of love and unity. Does my life seek to be rooted in life-giving relationships?
The Holy Trinity speaks of balance. Does my life have a balance between work, play, prayer and relationships? Specifically, are God, prayer, family and friends core Gospel values? Work is essential, but a relationship with God (rooted in prayer), family and friends holds life together. Balancing all the responsibilities and areas of life is a lifelong quest. The following story powerfully connects with the Feast of the Holy Trinity in ways we may have never imagined. Enjoy…and pass it on…….
Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb. “I packed your parachute,” the man replied.
Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”
Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he had looked like in a Navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how often I might have seen him and not even said, ‘Good morning, how are you?’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent at a long wooden table in the ship’s bowels, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.
Plumb now asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute?” Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day. He also points out that he needed many kinds of parachutes when his plane was shot down over enemy territory – he needed his physical parachute, his mental parachute, his emotional parachute, and his spiritual parachute. He called on all this support before reaching safety.
Sometimes in the daily challenges that life gives us, we miss what is important. We may fail to say hello, please or thank you, or congratulate someone on something extraordinary that has happened to them, compliment them, or do something nice for no reason.
As you go through this week, this month, and this year, recognize the people who pack your parachutes – and give thanks to God and each of them!
Taking the jump with you,