There are many people who maintain a “Bucket List,” an accounting of things they wish to do or accomplish in the course of life’s years. Sometimes the items “in the bucket” are pretty neat: a trip to the Amazon River basin or skydiving or writing a novel. Other “bucket” wishes may be of a more intimate nature: reconciling with an old friend or touring a battlefield where an ancestor fought or meeting the pope. But I wonder what surprises would be found if we peeked into the “buckets” of some of our faithful readers.
Possibly on the top of Msgr. Hagerty’s “Bucket List” would be a birdie on the first hole of Fox Run Golf Course. Rich Papalia, our talented webmaster, probably wishes for a coffee tap to be within easy reach of his computer screen. My sister would love to win the HGTV “Dream Home” in Vermont. Emily Solic, goodhearted as she is, might have a longing for 100+ students or more to attend a Sunday evening Mass on her campus. And Aaron Pfoutz’s list likely includes a yearning for Bell, his Cockerdoodle, to be more inclined to protect him from strangers than the other way around.
I know of a man, though, who had only one item in his “Bucket List.” His name was Simeon and he had grown old and weary in the city of Jerusalem. Righteous and devout as he was, Simeon longed with all his heart for the promises made to Israel by God to be fulfilled. Before death befriended him, Simeon wanted to see with his own eyes the long-awaited Messiah. And God did not disappoint. For when Mary and Joseph carried the baby, Jesus, into the temple to present him to the Lord, Simeon was there. Taking the child into his arms, he cried out with joy: “Lord, now let your servant go in peace; your word has been fulfilled: my own eyes have seen the salvation which you prepared in the sight of every people, a light to reveal you to the nations and the glory of your people Israel.”
As we begin a New Year, a year sure to be filled with God’s presence and grace, might I suggest an inventory of our respective “Bucket Lists?” Sure, trips and seeing nature’s wonders and meeting important people are cool items to place in the “bucket.” But as Simeon reminds us, could any desire be of greater importance than that of seeing our Savior, Jesus Christ? And amazingly, could any “Bucket List” item be more easy to accomplish?
As he has from all eternity, Christ waits for you in this New Year. He waits to show you his face and shower you with his love. Like Simeon, you too can take Jesus into your arms and hold him there. You too can know the peace which only Christ can give. And if we peeked into the “Bucket List” of Jesus, there, handwritten on a slip of paper, would be your name.
From all who make this blog possible and to all our faithful readers, we wish you the most happy of New Year’s. God bless and keep you, God let his face to shine upon you, and without a doubt, you are remembered in prayer.