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Friday Thoughts – The Basketball and the Cross, an Ankler Adventure

 It has been a great and difficult journey since February 6th. I have experienced great grace from the Lord, some of which I have shared with you. Jesus Christ is none more active than in the suffering of His children. He makes Himself Incarnate in our lives, revealing to us His great love, mercy, and justice. In each moment of our lives, in the most ordinary things, He is revealing Himself to us. That has been my journey as the Ankler.

This latest revelation brings me back to that fateful night two and a half months ago. I was playing a game that I love with people whom I loved. Psychologically I felt safe, unafraid of any harm coming to me. Warming up shooting jumpers, I was working off the rust in my game missing right, left, hitting the rim or the backboard, rarely hearing the sweet sound of swoosh.

Then, my experience of basketball was forever altered. Psychologically I will never feel safe. The rotation of my ankle in a direction the good Lord did not intend marred my hoops experience.

Granted I still enjoy watching the game, especially my New Orleans Hornets. Will I get up and play another day? Probably, but I will be going about things differently. This injury is for me a paradigm shift, an event identified by before and after.

Last night, I was given a gift, a symbol for of this event. No, not the pins that were in my foot. Rather, it was a basketball signed by my fellow hoopsters. It is a symbol that will forever hold this event in my memory.

As I began to reflect on this, the Lord’s revelation to me became apparent. Symbols have meaning. They are not empty; nor are they false prophets. This basketball bring me back to that moment of deep pain. It would seem that I am a masochist to graciously and excitedly receive such a gift that will contains memories such as this. It is not just a symbol though of pain; it is also a symbol of the great grace of God that has been poured out to me over these last months.

It is no different for us with regard to the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is a symbol of extraordinary pain, suffering, hatred, anger, malice and evil. However, it’s power lies not in such things, but, rather, in the grace flowing forth from that sacrifice of the High Priest of the Father. The cross is a symbol of our redemption, a reminder of the saving events our lives. It is a scandal for some. It is foolishness for others, but, for those who have received the gift of faith, it is glory and joy, hope and happiness.

Dear reader do not let this symbol pass you by.

About Fr. Kyle

I am a priest of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. I was born and raised right outside New Orleans. I attended Catholic school my entire educational career. By the time I graduated high school, I had two paths to choose: rockstar or priesthood. I pursued both for awhile but eventually came to the understanding God's will was priesthood and my will was rockstardom. After making that decision, to allow God's will to be mine, I needed a new way to channel my creativity. I began writing as I finished up my formation for priesthood. I still play music, but priestly ministry comes first. My bride: St. Rita of Cascia Parish in Harahan, LA.

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