Archbishop J. Peter Sartain

Tonight was the Rite of Installation and Vespers with new Archbishop of Seattle, J. Peter Sartain. It was a very powerful and symbolic Rite, which began with the Archbishop knocking on the door outside the Cathedral, as a symbol of his desire to be accepted as Shepherd of the people.

After entering and being welcomed by retiring Archbishop Alex Brunett, Archbishop Sartain venerated the processional cross of the Cathedral and received a blessing with Holy Water from Archbishop Brunett.

The two archbishops sprinkled the entire congregation with Holy Water and Archbishop Sartain greeted representatives from various communities and organizations within the Seattle Archdiocese.

Within the recitation of Vespers (evening prayer) Archbishop Sartain gave an amazing and moving homily. This man brings with him a powerful presence. Not a presence of domination and self-importance but a presence of holiness, kindness, truth and love. He bear a weight within, the weight of the Cross.

As I sat there listening to him speak about the desire of the heart for holiness and for Christ (his episcopal motto is "of You my heart has spoken") I very moved to reflect once again on the basics of life.

A few days ago, Jesus in the Gospel urges us to remain vigilant- that the anxieties of life do not over take us.

It is so easy for us to allow daily living, and all its busyness, trials, struggles and distractions to dull our hearts to what really matters. Its easy to get caught up in the drama, politics and gossip that surround us (and is even created by us at times although we'd probably rather not admit it!).

And when we allow these things, the daily trials that come to all people, to overtake and overwhelm us, we lose the simple joy of living. We lose gratitude and begin to focus on ourselves. We begin to worry over what people think about us or what they're saying about us vs what life is really about. Because in the end, we are accountable to no one but God. He sees our heart, our interior sentiments, hidden from others and sometimes from ourselves.

Archbishop Sartain said that every single person on the face of the earth has the same fundamental calling; to "be" for God. That God delights in every single person on the face of the earth. God desires us at every moment of every day. These words truly moved me to tears as I sat there in the silent Cathedral filled to near- capacity. The weight of Christ in this man spoke deep within our hearts.

How often we forget. In this Season of Advent and Christmas, when most of the country is focused on what to buy people and what they want to receive personally, we are called to simply and quietly "be" for God.

This is the fundamental truth for our lives. As Jesus comes to earth to "be" for us, for our redemption, so we are called to "be" for Him. We are His delightful children. We needn't be afraid.

Rock on Archbishop Sartain! We are blessed to have you here.


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