We gather here on Sunday because it is only here where the Family of God joins the Family of Mankind to worship the Father Who is our only true Peace. The prophet Zephaniah reminded us, “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, he will rejoice over you with gladness and renew you in his love, he will sing joyfully because of you.”
Christians through the centuries have died and die even today, because they bring their families to Mass and share with their children their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. We can’t help ourselves; we find “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding” the God Who guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
It is now more important than ever to teach children, any child, that humans will only find true peace and happiness in the hope of a new and better life when we confess our faith in Jesus and His Church.
There are no words to describe or explain ever, man’s inhumanity to man. The violence suffered on children or any human being begins here in my heart, here in my parish, here in my neighborhood or here in my country. It begins by being inconsiderate, rude, and being unconscious of the common good. Self-absorption is the planting of the seeds of violence.
What we witnessed this weekend are merely the ‘signs of our times.’ These human beings bear the violence of our culture because they are one of the weakest. There will be others if you do not look and see! Did not the Ghost of Christmas present caution us in the Dickens work Christmas Carol to beware of two things: ignorance and greed. And yet, we remain both ignorant and greedy.
Hope, my friends, is found only in God dwelling among us. This hope is found in our faith that humanity is touched by God and offers New Life to every human being.
As disciples of Jesus, we cannot afford to remain silent, even in the smallest, most remote corners of human life. The Holy Innocents call out to us to change our culture of death not just by the words of our mouth but also by the deeds of our life; the ‘what we say,’ and the ‘how we act.’
Every disparaging word on face book, every obscene gesture on the roadway, every inconsiderate act or greedy grab, every act of violence that enters our homes on the television or computer teaches violence and begins that slow denigration of human dignity.
‘What should we do’ ask the crowds in the Gospel today? Share, Jesus tells them, share your coat and share your food. Be satisfied with you have. Because in your sharing you will find great expectation for the coming of Jesus. This is what we celebrate in Gaudete Sunday: our great expectation of the Lord’s coming!
There is another sharing you need to do. Sunday is the center of your family life. Why? Because you confess that He brings you peace!! He brings us Charity!! He brings us the New Life that will truly set us free!!
You should share this encounter with other families, especially those Catholics who have fallen away and no longer confess their faith. Tell them!! Invite them and make them feel welcomed home! Tell them because they need to hear it from you, that hope is found only in God and your joy is rooted here at the foot of the Cross of Jesus.
Sundays are a day of rest, a day of learning about each family member, the day when we learn about God from the poorer and most in need. We say yes to Joy today because of our conviction that Jesus is its source. He makes all things new and we commit ourselves to complete this work with the Eucharist as our strength. Our communion antiphon will say it clearly, “Say to the faint of heart; be strong and do not fear. Behold, our God will come, and He will save us!”
Right now, at this moment, be determined to become more conscious not of the holiday but of the holy day that is upon us! And in the words of the final blessing, “As you run the race of this present life, may He make you firm in faith, joyful in hope and active in charity.” Amen!