Dear Parishioners: The Year of Faith has begun! What does it mean for us? For our parish? For our families? The Year of Faith officially began on Thursday, October 11th and is a time for us as a Church and a Parish and as families and individuals to renew our faith and deepen our convictions as Catholic disciples.
In announcing the Year of Faith Pope Benedict stated: “We want this Year to arouse in every believer the aspiration to profess the faith in fullness and with renewed conviction, with confidence and hope. It will also be a good opportunity to intensify the celebration of the faith in the liturgy, especially in the Eucharist...To rediscover the content of the faith that is professed, celebrated, lived and prayed, and to reflect on the act of faith, is a task that every believer must make his own, especially in the course of this Year.”
The Holy Father calls us to not only renew but deepen our faith by bearing witness to it in our daily lives and by intensifying our faithful participation in Mass each week. The Year of Faith has begun so we should also begin by reflecting on how well we profess, celebrate, live and pray the Eucharist. For the Mass must be the center of our lives as Catholics and the constant source of renewal of our faith. We are reminded that the Eucharist is indeed the source and summit of our Catholic Faith so perhaps we might begin our reflection on this new Year of Faith with the following:
Is the Mass truly the center of our lives? How often do we skip Mass for a trivial reason or personal convenience? Do we arrive to Mass early to prayerfully prepare or do we routinely rush in at the last minute or even arrive late? Do we actively participate in the celebration of Mass by singing and reciting the responses or do we sit silently and passively in our pew as if God doesn’t notice? Do we dress properly for Mass or do we dress as if we are going to the gym or for yard work? Do we come forward to Holy Communion spiritually prepared or do we fail to confess our serious sins? Do we receive Holy Communion reverently or callously as if it weren’t the Body of Christ? Do we stay until Mass is over or do we rush out after Communion or try to beat Father Healey or Father Shemek down the aisle?
Certainly some food for thought about food for the soul! This Year of Faith is a serious time for serious reflection about our own faith and how we live it. I pray it may it lead us all to a deeper commitment to the Lord and a renewed faith in our lives both as a parish and as individual Catholic disciples. My congratulations to our Confirmation Candidates as they are confirmed by Bishop Evans this Sunday. We wish them well and hope to see them at Mass each week!! May they truly live everyday the faith they profess every Sunday ! God Bless.