As birds grow up, they leave the nest. Some parent birds ‘encourage’ their little ones to fly away by pushing them out of the nest. Most adult birds keep an eye on the fledgling little ones, helping them navigate the challenges of life.

            It’s not uncommon that humans use the ‘leaving the nest’ phrase as a description of their kids going away for college, finding their own apartment, or getting married. Like our bird friends, humans find it good that their offspring go out on their own even as they often keep an eye on them and try to help them.

            That phrase struck me on Tuesday (yesterday) as I thought about the men and women in our parish RCIA. With the final formal session being that day, I experienced the neophytes leaving the safe haven of Tuesday night classes. They will have to take all that they have learned about their faith and put it into practice.

            On one hand, I am confident that they will do well in making right decisions and incorporating Christian practices into their daily behavior. On the other hand, I know that we more-experienced Catholics need to continue to be present for them, often reaching out to them.

            My prayers are with these neophytes and I promise, in the name of the entire parish, that we will be walking (flying) by their side in the days ahead.

‘Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?

Matthew 6:16