I regret that I did not have the advantage of Father Brown’s scholarship and Mother Teresa’s personal witness to fall back on when as a young priest I first met devout Catholics who confided in me that they felt abandoned by God.
Many people have reduced being a good and faithful Catholic to being nice, tolerant and doing good works. They think if we do service projects for the poor and needy, and don’t make any judgments about human behavior and sin, then we are fulfilling the Gospel mandate.
We are supposed to not just accept or be content with sufferings for our faith, but we should be glad and rejoice, not for their own sake, but because of Christ’s promise of the final victory in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Faith communities are rediscovering the theology of hospitality and it is highly related to all of our ministries. We no longer lukewarmly welcome visitors, but enthusiastically expect them. Instead of simply trying to fit them in, we need to plan for the stranger.
Our celebration is a pledge to unite men and women. It is a pledge to acknowledge our unity in the Risen Lord even at a time when our disunity is manifest whenever we read the daily newspaper or tune in the evening news.