Gathering to celebrate expresses what is at the heart of living. Sometimes, we honor persons in a celebration because of what they have done or accomplished.
Observing a birthday holds a unique place among the occasions on which we come together to celebrate. We never outgrow the desire to celebrate our own birthdays and those of persons whom we love. When we celebrate birthdays, we honor persons primarily for who they are and not for what they do. Deep within each of us, we yearn to be loved and valued for who we are. As we observe this truth about ourselves and one another on a regular basis, this provides the motivation that we each need to develop and to use our gifts to benefit others as well as we can.
Contrast this understanding of ourselves with that of the society in which we live. We live in a world in which many of our relationships with others are function-driven. We come to one another primarily because we need or want something from that person. Even in our families, our relationships with one another can become mainly functional.
Each of us is a whole lot more than the sum total of what we do. If our relationships with one another are primarily functional, we can wear ourselves out.
Hopefully, we will want to keep alive, as much as we can, the habit of just being with persons whom the Lord has put into our lives in a special way. This can be done in ways such as the following: determining to gather each day for a meal with our family, insisting on having a specific family time each week, by going out for a ride with persons, by just dropping in to visit persons when we have no agenda up our sleeves. I talked with a lady who goes to nursing homes just to visit with residents there. As for myself, I value times just to get together with other priests in our priest’s support group.
Let’s apply what I’ve been sharing to our relationship with the Lord. Unless we are on guard, our relationship with the Lord can become primarily functional. We all come to the Lord in prayer when we want or need something. The Lord invites us to do this. How sad it is if our devotion to the Lord stops here. Even as there are persons with whom we just enjoy being around, the Lord wants us to feel this way in regard to the manner in which we relate to Him.
Our Parishes promote this kind of love for our Lord by offering special times for Eucharistic Adoration. At Resurrection Parish, in addition to providing the opportunity for Adoration on First Fridays, the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for adoration and prayer each Wednesday from after the 9:30 a.m. Mass until 11:00 a.m. At St. Mary Parish, the opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration is offered on the third Friday of each month in addition to being offered on First Fridays. Also at St. Mary Parish, there are 24 hour periods for Adoration that are offered from time to time.
Eucharistic Adoration offers us a unique opportunity just to spend time in our Lord’s Presence. We don’t have to be in some kind of crisis or special need in order to come for Adoration.
With other persons, it can be observed that we come to take on mannerisms of persons with whom we associate on a regular basis. As we make time and room to gather in the Lord’s Eucharistic Presence just for the sake of being present to Him, we will more and more become like the Lord in our mannerisms and in the way that we relate to one another. As a byproduct of this, we will grow in the ability to relate to our time, energy and financial resources in a manner that is productive in His eyes and in ways that really benefit others on our common pilgrimage.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor