Each week we record our homilies and post them on the parish website. All of the homilies from April can be found here.
If you are a user of Twitter, we'll encourage you to comment on homilies (or the parish) using the hashtag #GAMD which are the first letters of our four word Parish Mission Statement: "Go and Make Disciples."
[Fr. Damian says people will think we're a dyslexic Jesuit as their motto is Ad maiorem Dei gloriam or AMDG.]
We just had our first of two weekends of First Communions. Our first communicants gathered on Saturday morning to find out where to sit, the order of the processions and to taste unconsecrated hosts and wine so the actual taste wouldn't be a surprise later.
Families were given the choice of making the First Communion within a regular parish Mass or on Sunday afternoon. They were part of the celebration from the entrance procession to bringing forward the communities' gifts.
“Life is short, God’s way of encouraging a bit of focus.”
-- Robert Brault
My preschooler recently brought home some school work that showed us he had grown an inch and a half taller since school began last fall. His work, which included self-portraits of then and now, demonstrated his leap in growth and development over eight short months.
But for me the school work contained a bonus lesson, another reminder, of how quickly children grow up, how swiftly life passes.
This time of year, when the school year is winding down, is bittersweet for me. It is filled with First Communions, Confirmations, graduations, weddings and birthdays. There is so much to do, so much to celebrate. But sometimes it seems that I’m watching from the sidelines as my children rush toward adulthood.
It’s common wisdom that life is short, but it’s also divine wisdom.
In Scripture God speaks of our lives as a passing shadow, a vanishing vapor, grass that withers as quickly as it sprouts and flowers that spring up then fade. In the Psalms we learn to pray:
“Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart.”
“Lord, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am. To be sure, you establish the expanse of my days; indeed, my life is as nothing before you. Every man is but a breath.”
Your time is short, use it wisely, God is telling us. For slackers and procrastinators like me, the message is more urgent. This doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to be busier, but that I need to order my time better. Sometimes we need to slow down -- to pray and ponder how God wants us to spend our lives.
We have to give God priority in our time management. An hour spent at daily Mass or in Eucharistic adoration can set us on the right course for the rest of our day. At home or at work, we can offer Him little acts of love in the ordinary moments of our day, following the “Little Way” taught by St. Therese of Lisieux.
Past generations used to remind themselves of the brevity of life. tempus fugit (time flies). In religious art, images of skulls reminded them of their earthly mortality. They had clocks that were adorned with the Latin phrase
Maybe I could bring a few skulls or Latin phrases into my home décor to remind me to use my time wisely. Or maybe a house full of growing children is reminder enough.
Inspired by this Year of Faith we will be posting columns like this from Susan Szalewski about exploring and/or deepening our faith. Watch for it on Thursdays.