Father Michael Renninger, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richmond, Virginia begins with a story of how his friends convinced him to run a marathon. He wasn’t sure about it but decided to give it a try. However, as he ran, his feet hurt, and his legs cramped. He decided to walk. He says, “Off to the right, I could see the Iwo Jima Memorial. And my heart was refreshed! Because I knew that the marathon ended at the Iwo Jima Memorial. The finish line was right there. All I had to do was cross the bridge, turn right, and…I’d cross the finish line…When I got to the end of the bridge, all of the runners had to turn LEFT…away from the finish line…I thought that the course was going to take me…where the finish line was. But the race took us in a direction I wasn’t expecting.” He asks, “What do you do when you think you’ve reached the goal, but you haven’t? What do you do when you’re exhausted, and you realize the race of life is taking you in a surprising direction?” In today’s passage, 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18, Paul pens the famous words we often hear at funerals, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Renninger reminds us, however, of Paul’s background and how he never would have imagined where the race would take him. Did Renninger finish the marathon? Listen to find out how St. Paul’s words encouraged him and how they can encourage us as well.
Manuscript available: click HERE