06/25/2017 - "OUR FATHER'S LOVING EMBRACE"
One of my fondest memories of childhood took place in my father’s loving embrace!
Once a week, we would go to papa’s house for a spaghetti dinner and mom would always bring our pj’s. Right after dinner, mom would put our pj’s on and inevitably we would all fall asleep as my mom and dad visited with papa and nana. Although you might wake up in the drive from Garden City to Canton, as soon as the van pulled into our driveway, you pretended like you were asleep because that meant dad would carry you upstairs, tuck you in, and plant a kiss on your forehead. It was such an awesome experience to be in dad’s strong and loving embrace as he carried you up the stairs to bed! Our heavenly Father has been showing us the way into His loving embrace: when we believe that He loves us so much; that we matter so much to Him that He has given us His Son, Jesus, then we enter our Father’s loving embrace through His Son! When we respond to all that our Father has done for us and all that He has spoken to us, we experience a life enveloped by the love of our Father! Every Sunday, every time we gather to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we have a wonderful opportunity to respond to our Father, to exercise our faith and to say and sing to Him with all our being “Yes, Father! I believe in your love for me! I believe in your care, your power, your wisdom, and your mercy!” when we receive the Most Holy Body and Blood of His Son with faith.
Peter Kreeft offered us sound and practical advice to prepare ourselves to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus with faith. His advice was simple and two words sufficed: Pay Attention! Peter explained that there are three questions we can ask as we participate at Holy Mass. Once the priest is at the altar and has called the Holy Spirit to descend upon our bread and wine, we ask the Holy Spirit: “Who is this?”, “What is He doing?”, and “Why is He doing it?” The Holy Spirit delights to tell us about Jesus. When we hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us about the Son of God, about Jesus, our faith in Him is set aflame! We know by faith that the Holy Sacrifice of Mass is the One and Same Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross on Good Friday. So, when we ask the Holy Spirit “What is Jesus doing?” He takes us by grace to the foot of the Cross. We can stand with Holy Mary, St. John, and St. Mary Magdalen and experience and know that the Son of God is offering His Body and Blood to the Father for our salvation! Why is Jesus doing this? The Holy Spirit loves to convince you that Jesus is doing all of this because He loves you. Let us strive to exercise our faith at every Holy Mass by asking the three questions that Peter taught us: Who is this? What is He doing? and Why is He doing it? When we do exercise our faith, as we approach to receive the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus, when the minister says, “The Body of Christ!”, we will begin to hear “God loves you so much that He is giving you His Son!” And, by our response of “Amen!”, we will be saying with all our being: “Yes, Father! I believe in your love for me! I welcome your Son, Jesus, into my heart and life!”
Let’s remember to keep each other in prayer this week.
In Jesus and Mary,
OUR 6PM PRAYER
Once you experience how awesome it is to be in your Father’s loving embrace, you are moved to help Jesus and the Holy Spirit lead as many people as possible into that same loving embrace. Our commitment to lift our eyes to heaven and unite our hearts in prayer at 6pm is a wonderful starting point.
To pray together, intentionally for the salvation of the souls of our neighbors, family members and all those who live in our community will prepare the soil for all that Jesus and the Holy Spirit will accomplish in our neighborhoods!