Last week, Fr. Bob Scott, CSP passed away at the age of 90. A Paulist Father, Fr. Bob served in priestly ministry over 60 years. Most recently, he was active at both St. Austin’s and the University Catholic Center at The University of Texas until about a year ago. He recently served a little over a year as pastor of St. Paul the Apostle in Horseshoe Bay when he was asked to serve at the age of 86 (a record age of appointment for a pastor? It has to be close…). In addition to St. Austin’s, the UCC and Horseshoe Bay, he also served in campus ministry within our Diocese at Baylor and Southwestern University and at numerous universities across the country, including being the Catholic campus minister at Marshall University when their football team perished in a plane crash and his voice leading the memorial service was used in the movie.
Fr. Bob touched countless lives during his years on earth. From his Good Stop homily to hearing him speak fondly of his mother, who obviously played a huge role in his faith development, to hearing the result of his latest tennis match against someone sixty years his junior, he was a constant and comforting presence at the university.
Last year, Ruben Garza, a friend of mine, passed away at age 37.
What strikes me about these two friends who have passed into eternity, one during the prime of his life and the other after an incredible length of service, is that they simply loved life and made it a personal goal to bring joy into the world.
Often, we get caught up in getting things done. We put our time and attention into the current project or the organization or the company or meeting the demands of the calendar, while forgetting to be outwardly joyful. We worry about details that, in the scheme of things, don’t matter while letting the big picture slide right by.
Of course, the details still need to be handled and contribute to the big picture. I do, though, think it fair to say that we all could do just a tad bit more to spread the joy of God in our lives.
Fr. Bob taught untold numbers of people about God. Plenty of folks, yes, were taught about God and faith by him in a formal manner, but more people were taught about God simply by the joy, love and care he exuded when he interacted with others.
Imagine if we all found a way to exude joy in our daily interactions. As the hymn goes, imagine if people we interacted with knew we were Christians by our love. Imagine how better our own days would be and how many more people may, in some small way, be at a greater peace after experiencing our love and joy?
As the summer begins to wind down and normalcy returns soon, let’s see how much more joy we can bring to others.