The Easter Season is a truly wonderful and blessed sight for a priest to behold! After many Lenten weeks of fasting, abstaining from certain foods, Stations of the Cross, a penitential mood in the liturgies of the Church, and finally the Easter Triduum of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil, it is a great thing when Easter arrives! We are truly blessed. Each and every year we get to participate in the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! This one eternal event of salvation through the great mystery and power of the Holy Spirit is made present once again for us in time.
At the Easter Vigil last Saturday night one Baptism and four Confirmations and First Communions were made by adults coming into the fullness of the Catholic faith. Please pray for them. Their names are in this week’s bulletin. Scripture says: “The devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him!” Our newly initiated Catholics are basking in the glory of the Sacramental life. Pray that newness of faith given may not be stunted nor shrivel, but grow ever stronger in God’s sight.
This Sunday many of our children will make their First Holy Communion at the Sunday 10:30 am Mass. Pray for these children too. Pray also for their parents. The role of parents is such a great and awe-filled task. It is also extremely hard and many times thankless. To all you parents who not only struggle and strive to put food on the table, clothing on your children, and a shelter over their head – but most importantly to those parents who see their first duty as handing on the Catholic faith to their children – thank you for your dedication and sacrifice. Your reward will be great in heaven! We are blessed at St. Mary and St. Margaret Mary with many large and beautiful families. To bring forth a child into this world is an act of creation, sharing in God’s creative powers, to give life to a living human being who never before existed. Wow! Even greater is the gift of being able as parents to be the first to introduce a child to God. Parents do that from the first moment they hold their child!
I am convinced the reason why so many are turning away from God these days is because of gravely and mortally deficient parenting. Our Catholic faith is a mediated faith. It is handed on from one person to another. The first thing a child must learn in their faith is that they are loved by another. The love of a mother and father for their child is the child’s first taste of being loved by another. If parents do it well and in accord with God’s will the child will easily be able to comprehend the invisible matters of faith – that there is a God who loves them – because they have been loved by parents seeking to love as God loves them. To the extent we adults have trouble with our beliefs in God is often attributed to a relational wound received in childhood. Abuse, neglect – and in our modern times parents who tend their iPhones more than their children – are reasons why a growing of people are turning away from God. If we have not been loved by another human person as God loves us we have a huge obstacle in our path to knowing, loving, and serving God. Parents, hand on the faith you have received. If you received from your parents a faith built on sand or shaky ground, it is never too late to begin to cultivate a life of faith. It is never too late to discover the God who not only loves you, but will change your life for the better! -Fr. W.