A Relationship with Our Lord

05-02-2021Pastor's LetterFr. John C. Granato

My Dear Friends,

This afternoon, at 2 pm, five children will be making their first Holy Communion. And on this Tuesday evening, eight teens will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is always a special time when we as a parish community see that the sacraments are being celebrated and that our young people are somehow still connected to the church. Sadly, the numbers show that many of these young people who will be receiving these sacraments will eventually leave the faith, some for good, and others for a time. I hope and pray that this is not the case for these 13 people this week. But for these young people to stay connected to the church, they will need the help and example of their parents and the prayers of each and every one of us.

Our Catholic faith and our sacramental life of the church is meant to help all of us to have an experience of the Risen Lord. There is no greater experience of the Risen Lord than in the Holy Eucharist, and there is no better way for us to have an experience of the Holy Spirit than in the Sacrament of Confirmation. But these sacraments are not magic. We need to cooperate with the graces given in these sacraments. We need to keep learning and living our faith. Learning the faith requires more than just coming to Mass on Sunday for forty five to sixty minutes every week.

A relationship with our Lord means speaking to him and listening to him every day. Just as our daily intimate relationships dry up if we do not take time to communicate with each other, our relationship with God will dry up if we do not pray daily. Prayer, reading Sacred Scripture, reading the lives of the saints and other spiritual readings and living the Ten Commandments and growing in virtue (humility, chastity, and fortitude) help us to want to remain in the church and to continue to receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Let us as a parish community rejoice and lift up in prayer these thirteen young Catholics that they are open to God’s graces and come to know our Lord in a passionate, personal, experiential and intimate way.