Mass last Sunday was pretty extraordinary for a number of reasons. It just wasn’t the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, but it was the beginning of Catholic Schools’ Week, the Sacrament of Baptism, and a 60th Wedding Anniversary celebration all wrapped up into the 11:00am Mass at St. James of the Valley.
Along with the usual proceedings of a Sunday Mass, an infant was baptized. The readings and petitions were read by the school’s students. Family members of the couple celebrating their anniversary brought up the Gifts. An eighth grade student read his essay about his faith and serving others. At the end of Mass, Father gave blessings for the couple, the students and teachers of the school, and the newly baptized baby with the parents and Godparents. All together, the congregation represented four generations of God’s children, all present to give thanks to Him in one way or another.
Thanksgiving, that is what the word “Eucharist” means, and how better to show thanks to God, our Father, than by the way we live our lives.
The faith and enduring love of a married couple passed down through their children and grandchildren to their great- grandchildren (as was in this couple’s case). The ever-growing faith of an adolescent who through the examples of his family, friends, teachers, and peers, gives thanks to the Lord by not only his words, but through his actions (as Pope Francis has been exclaiming). The innocence of a new baby born out of the parents’ love for each other, found in God’s warming embrace, and baptized out of their thanks to God, to allow their child to grow nearer to Him by being living examples of their faith.
It is our duty, through our faith, to teach those around us about God’s love, not just to the next generation of God’s children, but to those around us who live outside of His embracing love, who are vulnerable to the evil in this world, the lonely and depressed, the poor in spirit and material. We must teach them not just by our words, but through our unspoken actions, the path to everlasting life in God’s Kingdom.
***In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti, Amen***
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