From the Pastor – June 16, 2013

Afterward he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.  (Lk 8:1)

This Sunday’s Gospel recounts one story in the life of Christ.  It’s one visit to a household, one sinner anointing the feet of Jesus, one lesson taught, and one sinner forgiven.  When Jesus was on earth in the flesh, He limited Himself to being in one place at a time, and those encounters – so beautifully recounted in Sacred Scripture – reveal him reaching out and touching and healing specific individuals through the power of His love.  And Jesus was accompanied by the Twelve Apostles and some women who were witnesses to His love.

After the Ascension and Pentecost, the Apostles obeyed the commands of Christ to go out to preach, sanctify (by the Sacraments) and govern the whole world.  Priests take part in that mission by sharing in the mission of their bishop, who is himself a successor of the Apostles.  And the mission is the mission of Christ.  The Holy Father, the Bishops and the priests take part in the mission of Christ by going to individuals.  Even today, it’s one visit to a household, one lesson taught, and one sinner forgiven at a time.  Christ is present in each of those encounters.

This year the Church celebrates the Year for Faith.  As you might remember, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI explained that the Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.

The biggest opportunity that we have to deepen our relationship with Christ is where we encounter Him.  He told us that when two or more are gathered in His Name, He is there.  So gather in your family, invoke His Name and pray together!  He is the Word of God.  So read the Bible!  Whatever you do for the least of your brothers, you do for Him.  So do charitable acts! But He’s supremely present in the Sacraments of the Church, particularly Confession, where He forgives us and the Holy Eucharist, where we come into Communion with Him.  So avail yourselves of the Sacraments!  On this Father’s Day, let an encounter with Christ be a way that we honor Our Heavenly Father.

Rev. Msgr. Christopher H. Nalty