Today many parishes are celebrating Catechetical Sunday here at Nativity we will celebrate next Sunday so that Bro. Rey can personally give our catechist a blessing for the New Year. Our theme that the United States Council of Catholic Bishops has commissioned for this year is “Prayer: The Faith Prayed.” Those whom the community has designated to serve as catechists will be called forth to be commissioned for their ministry. Catechetical Sunday is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the role that each person plays, by virtue of Baptism, in handing on the faith and being witness to the Gospel. In his encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio Pope John Paul II, says: “Among the laity who become evangelizers, catechist have a place of honor…Catechists are among those who have received Christ’s command to “go and teach all nations.” (Guide for Catechist 33)
As a catechist, each of us is responding to a call to share the gift of faith with others, even as you deepen your own faith. I like to remind parents as often as I can that they are the primary catechist in their children’s lives, and that is why it is so important that parents commit themselves daily in spending time with God in prayer or just in total silence. In an article in the Catechist magazine titled Catechesis and the Domestic Church by Kathy and Mitch Finely; they speak about how families are the first people that begin the faith journey for their children. You can read the entire article atwww.mitchandkathyfinley.com
May peace prevail on earth is an age old question that so many of ask ourselves daily. Today’s gospel has many challenges as Jesus teaches no one can serve “two masters” what he is referring to are God and money (“mammon” is the Semitic word for “wealth’). Today at mass we are celebrating World Day of Peace and our children have been given the symbol of a crane to process in with. There is a very interesting story about the prayer of a little girl during World War II who tried to make a thousand cranes for healing and peace. The title of the book is One Thousand Paper Cranes for Peace: The Story of Sadako Sasaki.
In another book titled “Peace is the way: Bringing War and Violence to and End” by Deepak Chopra he writes about the seven practices for peace for each day of the week. The first practice challenges you to take five minutes beginning today with your family, children or friends and mediate for peace. Focus all of your attention on your heart, mind and spirit as you repeat these four words peace, harmony, laughter and love. As you end your meditation, say to yourself. Today I will relinquish all resentments and grievances. Bring into your mind anyone against whom you have a grievance with and let it go. Send that person your forgiveness-- now close your eyes and imagine how many people you will join together with today and this week in spirit as you pray for peace and healing. This is my answer to the question on how peace can prevail on this earth. What is your answer? Share it with someone today.
“Peace be upon you” Translated in the traditional Jewish greeting, Shalom Aleichem