Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Greatest Gift!

Dear Parishioners,

With the many advances of technology, what I write here has the ability to reach many more people than those who sit in our pews each weekend.  Necessarily, if a rather significant number of parishioners in an average parish like ours are not part of the Saturday evening/Sunday routine of going to Mass, then this bulletin also has to attempt to reach those who will not be worshipping with us this week.  The bulletin is also available online to those who may be away from home, such as our college students who will be heading off to school shortly.  My hope and prayer is that this message will go out far and wide each week.

St. Paul reminded us last week in the 2nd reading to “seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Col. 3:1)  We need to seek out the spiritual things in life.  Life is very materialistic.  We are constantly bombarded in commercials and advertisements that we must buy this particular item, that we are somehow incomplete or missing out on something if we do not own the latest, the best, the most expensive, etc.  We need to buy, buy, and buy!  And it’s all a lie!

What makes us complete?  What really gives us value or significance in life?

The greatest gift that anyone can be given does not have a price tag and cannot be bought.  It is not something that will impress those who see things with a worldly or materialistic set of eyes.  It is rather something of a completely spiritual nature—the gift of faith.

When we are baptized, we receive the gift of faith.  It is a gift—not something we buy, not something that we earn.  It is a gift, pure and simple.  If you have been given this gift, then thank God for it.  If you are a parent, it is the most important gift that you could ever give your child.  It happens by the simple pouring of water in the sacrament of Baptism:  “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.”

Through Baptism you are now a child of God; adopted by God Himself!  Jesus is God’s only begotten Son from all eternity.  We become His adopted child through baptism.  God is our Father, truly our Father!

I really wonder how much we actually think about our Baptism and the gift of faith that we have received through it?  Whenever we walk into the church and bless ourselves with the water from the holy water font, we should be reminded of the fact of our Baptism.  I have been given the greatest gift!  I am a Child of God!

Faith, being a gift, can be lost or grow cold if it is not fostered.  That is why it is so essential that we practice our faith—that we come together as a faith community at Mass.  We need to worship together as children of the one God as a family.  Hearing the Word of God and receiving Jesus in the Holy Eucharist regularly will help our faith to grow.

For those who may not be baptized or who have not yet had your children baptized, please think about, pray about and ask for this precious gift though the Sacrament of Baptism.  Adults seeking Baptism should inquire about the R.C.I.A. (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program.

Sometimes the most precious things in life are the things that we cannot buy.  The gift of faith is one such gift.  Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God leads to eternal life!  That is something no amount of money can ever buy!  It is simply a gift—the greatest gift!

Fr. Ed Namiotka


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