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Autumn thoughts

Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Patrick,

It happened again to me this week. I shouldn’t have been surprised but it happened and I was caught off guard.

Every autumn there’s that one day I find myself suddenly aware that things are changing. It happened this past Sunday morning when I was going about my early morning routine. In the glow of the moonlight, the cool air greeted me as I was walking down W. 32nd toward Detroit Avenue. The breeze hits the trees above and beside me and there it is! The leaves themselves sound different. Unlike the youthful summer, they now make a harder sound brushing up against each other. I can’t discern their colors in the morning darkness. They just sound different.

Fall is here and soon many of those hardening leaves will display brilliant colors; others will simply be dull in appearance. But they will all soon fall to the ground, either raked and bagged, or buried. Maybe one or two will hold fiercely to a limb until the November winds and rain force them to surrender.

While this may sound a bit melancholic, I actually love autumn. My heart is reminded that seasons come and go. Throughout the seasons, we plant and sow, nurture and tend, reap and harvest, and eventually let things lie fallow under blankets of snow. Cycles of life.

Autumn especially holds a place near to my heart as I listen to the leaves bristling, no longer green but now needing to let go. Or, as I pick those last vegetables from the garden as the vine dutifully fulfills its mission.

Even as we approach these final weeks of the Church’s liturgical year, our readings and prayers invite us to see the fullness of Christ’s teachings and works among his people. This comes only after the celebrated seasons of incarnation, passion, death, resurrection, and ascension. We now stand in the reaping only made possible because of that first Pentecost.

Although leaves harden and fall to the ground, the tree “The Tree “ is alive and signals a new springtime. In the meanwhile, our eternal thanksgiving is offered for all that our Lord has done and continues to do.

With all praise and thanksgiving,

Fr. Gurnick