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The Blessings of New Beginnings

May 19, AD2015

Kelli - pelican

These past few weeks have been filled some wonderful examples of “firsts”. For starters, our family attended this year’s Easter Vigil, where we witnessed the newly initiated as they became full members in the Catholic Church. Soon following this was the first Communion of our daughter. She had been looking forward to this day for so long. Before, she would always walk up to the altar to receive a blessing from our priest; now she was receiving Christ!

One evening, my wife and I were speaking with a friend of ours, who is one of the recently initiated. His personal reflection was a beautiful example of what it means to be a member of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. He mentioned that other important events in his life did not even compare to this one. He talked about his emotions during the event; the nerves, and the joy that enveloped him. You could tell in his voice that this was truly an extraordinary moment in his life. He had always attended Mass with his family, but was never able to fully engage in the Holy Mysteries, especially the Eucharist.

We sometimes take for granted the gifts and blessings we encounter at Mass. Even if we pay attention and follow along with the readings, we may feel as though we are just going through the motions. It takes witnessing the joy and happiness, which others feel, that can bring us back to the reality of Christ and His Church. We are called to celebrate as a family; One Body in Christ, and must realize that we each play a significant role in this.

Mass is the official form of public worship in the Church and requires a total act of involvement by us. It becomes humbling when one hears that not all those who attend weekly Liturgy are able to receive the most precious gift of all, yet they nevertheless participate as best they can, while persevering in understanding and knowledge.

This past week, I had the privilege of listening to a few seminarians in our area as they spoke to students about the gift of the priesthood. They await the day when they will be able to consecrate the Eucharist and offer absolution for sins. Many of the teenagers were highly receptive to their message and even commented that they were very down to earth and not at all what they were expecting form someone studying for the priesthood.

Each seminarian commented that although they may not have always expected to pursue the priesthood as a vocation, they were always open to the call. One of the seminarians said that he had only been Catholic for a few years. He had actually completed his studies to become a minister in his previous religion, and was only weeks away being ordained. The only reason he chose to become Catholic was because one person invited him to Mass on one particular Sunday; a Sunday that obviously changed his life forever.

As mentioned before, we can often take for granted what we possess as Catholics. We possess the fullness of truth and the sacraments. These help us maintain a strong bond with Our Lord and our fellow brothers and sisters. We are called, at all times, to remain in Him and through His grace we are strengthened in perseverance and fidelity, as we try to live a life that is most often counter-cultural to popular opinion.

It is safe to say that the future of our Church is in good hands when we see the true, the good, and the beautiful revealed in the eyes and hearts of the innocent, the courageous, and the willing.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Todd was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia (Go Phils!) but now lives and works down south. He has been involved in the Church, serving youth & young adults, for over 15 years in the areas of ministry, athletics, education, and outreach. He earned his M.A. in Theology from Catholic Distance University (special thanks to the intercession of St. Joseph of Cupertino). He is a proud family man and has a passion for all things CATHOLIC! You can follow him on twitter (@4RealCatholic) for spiritual and inspiring quotes from our Saints.

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