The Jesus Guy

07-29-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Robert Aliunzi

Dear Friends,

Two weeks after my arrival here at our parish in June of last year, I got a call to go and anoint a sick person in our neighborhood to which I responded promptly. However, when I reached the apartment indicated on the address, I got confused how to locate the exact room number. Fortunately, I found a gentleman in the parking lot, and I asked him to help me locate the room number. After looking at the number he said: “Oh, you are looking for the Jesus Guy”. What an identity to be described by – “The Jesus Guy!”

So that identity of this parishioner by which he is known to that gentleman piqued my interest about what kind of person I was going to anoint. I became curious to see what this Jesus Guy looked like, and what it was that made him earn such a lofty identity. After anointing him, I came back to my normal activities but each time I saw that man at the morning Masses which he attends regularly, I realized why he earned that identity. He lives his faith unambiguously! The Catholic faith lives loudly in him. He always looks devout, openly carries his cross and rosaries wherever he goes, in Church and outside the church. I also see him frequently go for Confessions and Adoration. But most importantly, it is the genuine serenity and reverence he exudes which will strike you as it struck me and also struck that gentleman in the parking lot. It is clear that he is in love with Jesus. Isn’t it often said that when couples are so much in love with each other, with time they begin to resemble each other?

Dear Friends, when I grow up, I want to be like this man and be known as “The Jesus Guy”. I want to be identified with Jesus. I want Jesus to be my identity as your new pastor. Yes, it is often said that after five years, a parish begins to resemble its pastor. My desire, however, is that after five years instead, our parish begins to resemble and be identified with Jesus but, if it resembles me, it is only because I resemble Jesus. Please, continue to keep me in your prayers. We are going to work on this Jesus Identity Project together so that we all get to heaven together.

As I pointed out several times already, to do this, we shall continue to focus more and more on the Eucharist by increasing more opportunities for Adoration and for Mass. That is why, shifting the Adoration, the Confession time and concluding a day with Mass from this coming month onwards will help us to refocus our week as we look towards Sunday. In a way, therefore, our Wednesday becomes a mini-Sunday dedicated to a variety of spiritual activities. We shall also create more opportunities through uplifting and inspirational talks throughout the year, to enable us to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of the Eucharist. By hanging around Jesus often in this way, it is my hope that we shall not only develop “The Jesus Guy” identity but most importantly also draw others closer to him.

Will you join me in this project? OLMC, I love you!