From Our Pastor: 31st Sunday In Ordinary Time
This weekend’s readings focus us on right religion, proper worship, and true humility. All of this brings us most specifically to the Eucharist. This last weekend we had a Eucharistic Congress at the Bank of Springfield Center.
What an amazing event! I wish all of you would have had the opportunity to attend. It is one of the most exciting events that we’ve had in a long time in the diocese. If any of you remember the 2003 jubilee year event at the fairgrounds, this reminded me much of that. The energy in the room was electric. The amazing hunger for confession led to many priests, over several hours, hearing many confessions. The speakers were phenomenal. Dr. Scott Hahn lead us through a discussion of the road to Emmaus story from scripture. Father Denis Robinson, OSB, gave us a great testimony upon a simple humble gift of bread from a poor child. This testimony was not only about hospitality, but about the greatest gift of simple bread from our Lord that surprises us with his presence. Father Chase Hilgenbrinck, a priest with Quincy roots, shared with us reflections on the mass, especially from the priest. And Sister Karolyn Nunes, FSGM, shared with us her personal testimony of her call to religious life and the joy that it brings.
There were many great vendors and great exhibits to see. We even had a replica of the Stagecoach that President Lincoln was carried in upon his death. The highlight of the event, as it should be, was the mass! Being able to worship together with that large of a congregation all from throughout our diocese was just the best. Words cannot truly describe it. Exciting, thrilling, reverent, beautiful are just some that come to mind. To turn the Convention Center into such a beautiful worship space literally took not only the decorating but the hearts of all the faithful there giving themselves to the Lord so radically!
Bishop’s homily focused on the issues of the day and what the answers to them are. The true answer, it is deep faith, immense stewardship and the Eucharistic presence in our lives and world. Most especially reverent worship of the Eucharist. He talked about the courage and faith of those who founded our diocese and parishes. He called us to evangelization and witness of the gospel and the joy of the church, he called us to radical abandonment of our hearts to the Lord, and he called us to mission, to preach the gospel with great love. To quote Bishop Paprocki,
“We live in a moment of great opportunity, and we stand ready with renewed vigor, confidence, and faith that we can imitate the ordinary people Christ called so many centuries ago to be, with Him, extraordinary ministers of His message and mysteries. Today we remember and pledge to imitate the courage and sacrifice of the missionaries and faithful Catholics who settled here in the diocese and left us the gift and legacy of the Catholic faith.
It is time; time for conversion of heart; time for a renewal of the vision handed on to us; time for a reawakening of the charisms and gifts the Spirit bestows; time to take our Christian vocation as seriously as those who have come before knowing God will sustain us by Word and Sacrament.”
Let us take his call to action into our parish, our school, our families, and our hearts! It is time!
-Rev. Steven Arisman