BY JOE TOMASODIRECTOR, YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY
Hello Faith Family,I cannot tell you how excited I was to write a letter as we enter November. Something about the cold of November, the grey skies, the book of the dead at the entries of churches, and the falling leaves gives mepause, and causes me to reflect on those that have gone before me. Saint Paul, in this Sunday’s SecondReading, reassures us of God’s saving acts for those who have died. Earlier this week, we celebrated allSoul’s Day, when we remember the dead.
As we reflect on those we have lost, surely not many of us have family members or friends who arecanonized saints. But we have had people in our lives who were saintly. I have fond memories of beingin church as a young boy, sitting next to my father, watching him pray with his hands cupped over hisface. It moved me, and opened the doors of my heart to the power of prayer. I also remember the story ofmy grandfather who served in the fiercest naval battles of World War II, and had his Rosary with himevery single day. Then there is my grandmother, who converted to Catholicism as a young woman andwas my Confirmation sponsor. I remember her story of the first time she went to Mass by herself as anew convert, and the courage it took to start living her new faith. I witnessed these women and menmaking simple acts of faith. These simple acts opened my heart to what it means to be a Christian inprofound ways. They were saintly.
The Psalm for this Sunday, Psalm 63, speaks of a deep longing for God:
Thus, have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory,for your kindness is a greater good than life.
The Psalmist is looking to see God in the sanctuary in the Temple in Jerusalem. For us today, God hasgiven us companions on the journey (people!) who show us God. We get glimpses of God through thesaintly people in our lives. They each shine a light on a different feature of the face of God.Here is my invitation: reflect on the saintly people that have been in your life this week. Talk to them inprayer and thank them. Then, to really thank them, live your life as a person that has been touched bythem. Pay forward the act of being shown part of the face of God by making simple acts of faith (charity,kindness, patience, love). The torch of faith will be passed to the next generation inasmuch as we liveaccording to the examples of faith that have been part of our lives, and we stay true to who we are:children of God. That is how the world will know of God’s love too.
Your Brother in Faith,
Joe Tomaso,Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry