Dear Friends in Christ: Every week, I write to you in our parish bulletin, but perhaps it is time for me to try something new and get on the blog circuit. We'll see how it works. Now, up front I have to admit that I decided to start this blog this afternoon when I was trying to find a way to avoid preparing for my Finance Council meeting this evening. Nonetheless, I find that when I write to you each week in the bulletin, our communion in Christ is strengthened. So, perhaps a more frequent opportunity to do that might be a good thing. Let's give it a go.
Last Sunday at Mass, I was really moved by what I saw. Isn't it great to have a full church? Whenever you think about missing Sunday Mass (besides that whole issue with the Third Commandment . . .), remember that your absence deprives somebody else of experiencing the joy of a full church. Allow me to tell you about some of the people I saw at Mass this weekend.
I saw four seminarians. These men have heard the voice of Christ calling them to become priests. One is assigned here for the year and three call our parish, home. When they are here, are not our hearts filled with joy? Doesn't their presence compel us to remember Christ calling Peter, Andrew, James, and John? Christ is still calling and young men are still responding to his invitation.
I saw a couple who are mourning the loss of their friend, a 38 year old mother of four.
I saw two adults preparing for baptism at Easter and four other adults preparing to be received into full communion in the Catholic Church. There were couples who were recently married and couples preparing for marriage. There were people who drive long distances to be here each week. There was the man in his nineties who often tells me that he hasn't missed Sunday Mass since he came home from World War II. There was the college kid who goes to school nearby, always comes in late, but always makes it to Mass. There was the woman whose mother is gravely ill in the hospital. There was the person who has been away from the Church for a long time who looked around nervously, her face almost posing the question, "Does God want me back?" (The answer, of course, is "yes!")
I saw parents who are doing their best to raise their children Catholic in a culture that isn't quite so cooperative in that regard. I saw beautiful families--lots of beautiful familes.
I saw many persons who became Catholics later in life.
Because each of these persons worshipped God last Sunday, they helped me to worship God. Because they were at Mass, I was moved by their example and drew closer to Christ. The more we are obedient to Christ and his commands, the more we become signs pointing to Christ. This is the Communion of Saints.
I don't share these things with you in order to boast about our parish (though, I do that as well). I share them with you in order that perhaps you too might be encouraged. I just wanted to hand on to you what I myself have seen from my Shepherd's Post.