Here we are, almost at the beginning of spring, and snow is still covering the ground. Global warming I guess!
Our 40 Hours of Eucharistic Adoration is currently underway and will be completed by the time this message reaches the Sunday church bulletin.
I have had a lot of time to think and to pray. I was edified by the people who took the time to attend an extra Mass or two or to spend some quality time in adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Could you not keep watch for one hour? (Mk. 14:37) Thank God for you! You are the backbone of our Church.
However, I continue to worry. The overall numbers are dwindling. The age of the active parishioners tends to rise significantly. We have lost a few generations of Catholics somewhere in the middle (young adult to middle age) and I don’t know how or if we are going to get them back. Jesus, we certainly need your help!
The simple reality, as I see it, is that there is a spiritual battle going on. Spiritual warfare, if you will. It’s a battle for souls. It is a matter of life or death. Eternal life is promised by following Jesus—I am the way and the truth and the life. (Jn. 14: 6) Yet, we are surrounded by a culture of death. Senseless violence is all around us—war, murder, abortion, euthanasia, infanticide. We are a society plagued by multiple addictions—drugs, alcohol, sex, pornography, gambling, materialism. Yet, we must be a People of Life, promoting a Culture of Life: “The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus' message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as ‘good news’ to the people of every age and culture.” Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae.
It can seem overwhelming if we let it get to us. Christians—followers of Jesus the Christ—have to be a people of hope. I suppose that there wasn’t a more hopeless scene than to witness your spiritual leader mocked, rejected, beaten, spat upon, and crucified in front of your eyes. Would I have the courage to stand at the foot of the cross like Mary, John or Mary Magdalene? Would I deny Jesus like Peter? Would I flee and hide like the vast majority of His apostles? Would I be so influenced to follow the crowd—everybody’s doing it—to yell “Crucify him! Crucify Him!” as well?
I know that I can only do my part each day. I need to be as faithful to Jesus as I possibly can. I need to keep plugging away and not lose hope. Jesus loves me and sustains me. I am so thankful for His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist: I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world. (Jn. 6: 51)
Jesus has gotten me this far in life and I believe He will continue to take care of me. I can’t live without Him. I really can’t understand how anyone could.
Fr. Ed Namiotka