Each morning at Christian Brothers College High School, we begin with a prayer. This is the first of prayers I created about my good friends, the saints. Today we feature Saint John Baptist de la Salle.
When it comes to evaluating a human life, we can think that accomplishments are everything. But in truth, it is the power of our relationship with Jesus that keeps Satan at bay.
The pathway to happiness and fulfillment is counter intuitive. To find ourselves, we must lose ourselves. It is in giving that we receive. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
In my ministry as a priest, I have have listened many times to parents who are sad that despite their best efforts, their adult children do not practice the faith. But we need to remember that faith is a gift, and as a gift, must be received by the recipient. Saint Monica today reminds us the prayers of a mother (or a father) are powerful indeed in bringing back an adult son or daughter to faith.
The readings today emphasize the role of the Holy Spirit. We can forget that we have been given all kinds of gifts from the Holy Spirit. And these gifts are designed to help us to grow in holiness by working to build the Kingdom of God. But, sometimes like Saint Peter the challenge can seem to be too great, too big. However, even though the problems we face may be great, the Holy Spirit is greater.
There is an increasing attention being given to statues in the public square. And while I think this it is good to consider who gets honored with a statue, I also wonder about our expectations for human beings on this earth. Saint Louis, whose feast we celebrate today, lived in the 13th century. He was not a perfect man, but he was pretty darn good. It causes me to think of this question: Is it easier for me to criticize someone else’s behavior than to allow Jesus to facilitate my own conversion?
“There was no duplicity in him.” What a tremendously wonderful compliment. It seems that if there is a quality that is needed today, it is that we have no duplicity. What would our world be like if we knew we could trust each other because we were genuine and sincere? What would our conversations be like if we did not take the opportunity to insult those with whom we disagreed, or did not share something unless we knew it to be true? What if, heaven forbid, we even realized that we could disagree with someone, but treat them with respect? We will need to summon courage to be sincere. But if we are always a disciple of Jesus, we make it more likely others will believe too.
Today we are asked to consider a very direct question. Who is Jesus? The answer to this question will be about every other choice we make. For if Jesus is to be the Christ in our lives, then indeed we must allow him to be Lord over all our decisions.
This is, I think, the first time I have really witnessed hardship in society. My grandparents raised children during the Great Depression. There were high school students in the 1940s who were not able to graduate high school because they were called to serve in the military during World War II. Maybe this global pandemic…
When everything is seemingly going haywire, we are reminded that we are always in the holy presence of God. The great lesson of the suffering of Jesus is that God can bring good from even the worst evils, even the worst suffering. When we open our lives to our God, great things indeed happen.