Since we are busy people, living in a hectic and complex world, we may be tempted to step back and allow our Holy Father, our bishops, our leaders, and our organizational structure to proclaim the Gospel and promote our Catholic values. We may become too socially comfortable with the values of the world. However, following the example of many of our great saints, we are also challenged to get personally involved in living and spreading the gospel message despite potential risks and difficulties involving engagement with secular sectors of our society. We can personally spread Christian values through our involvement in the Eucharistic Congress, Catholic conferences and bible studies, mission trips, assistance at crisis pregnancy centers and soup kitchens, and other worthwhile events. We can also spread the Gospel message by challenging our civil leaders to enact laws that promote Catholic social teaching, especially in area concerning the life of the unborn, marriage, and the family.
As we reflect on the potential impact of the papal visit, we also realize that our local Church will soon be blessed in a special way. Next Saturday, approximately two hundred children will be making their first Holy Communion at Saint Brigid. Our Catechism teaches that the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith. When we receive the Lord in the Eucharist, it is an act of thanksgiving to God. It recalls the Lord’s Supper with his Apostles. The Eucharist is essential to the communal dimension of our faith. It is the nourishment that enables us to remain spiritually strong and healthy. When receiving the Eucharist, we can also give thanks for all the teachers, parents, relatives, and friends of these children who assist them in their future growth in faith through their prayers and actions.
Next Saturday, these children will set a great example for us. They will be receiving Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. They will be receiving Jesus into their hearts. We can set a good example for them by welcoming Jesus, the Good Shepherd, into our lives, and by heeding the call of Pope Francis to spread the Good News to those around us.