Next week is Catholic Schools Week. This year our school has chosen the motto, “Renewing the Promise!” which begs the question, “What is the promise being renewed?” We are all in need of renewal, of being made new again. The call to conversion is the invitation of the Christian, again and again, being drawn to the Lord. Catherine Doherty was fond of saying “Every moment is a moment to begin again with the Lord!” Father Thomas Morales similarly reminded, “We must never tire of always beginning.” I may have mentioned these resonant phrases before. They are so meaningful. As Christians we are invited to take up the cross of discipleship repeatedly. Conversion forms the bedrock of Christianity.
The promise renewed is the promise of our Baptism, the promise to follow after the Lord, the promise to let nothing come between us and our good God. We were reminded of our covenantal relationship with God last week when we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord. Our Lord Jesus is the eternal Son of the Father. By his invitation and grace, it is possible for us to become “sons in the Son,” adopted children of God. In Christ, we are reunited with the Holy Trinity. The separation caused by our first parents, Adam and Eve, is remedied, and we are welcomed into a life of grace.
We cannot renew this promise alone. We respond to God’s invitation personally but also as a community. Just as the parents renew their baptismal promise as their children are baptized, so too as a community, as a local church, we renew the promise we made to follow after our Lord, to be his disciples. The promise is renewed in a particular way when we gather around the Lord’s Table.
The pain in my heart is that I see our community, the common life and shared values, trying to be formed without ITS heart. I see people, good Christians seeking to answer the call to renew the promise without the epicenter that makes the process truly fruitful. I speak of the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, as Vatican II reminded us. The Eucharist is the highest peak and the deepest depths of our life as Christians. Without the Eucharist at the heart of our life, we are like sailors without the North Star. Without the Eucharist as the basis for renewal, we are planets spinning about a solar system without the sun. Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament is our guiding light, our clear and bright way, the very life of this life.
Thus I encourage each of you to take a moment and examine priorities, personally and as a family of Christians. As we seek to answer that deep and universal call to continuous conversion of heart, we need the most Blessed Sacrament at the heart of our lives. Please strive to make Sunday a day with the holy Eucharist, and to make the week a time that leads to Sunday, the Lord’s Day. The Eucharist is the heart of a promised renewed.
God bless you and your families!