Monday, September 3, 2012
The LORD said to Abram: Go forth from your land, your relatives, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)
It portrays the arrival of many immigrant communities with the promise of prosperity working in the mills. My family is French-Canadian and thats exactly why many of them came here. Like Abraham, they left everything they knew to travel to what they perceived as the Promised Land. Over time they built the communities we have today from houses to shops, and espicially magnificent churches, Being Labor Day today, let's reflect one the struggles and sacrifice our grandparents and great-grandparents made. They had faith in God's Providence (Mt. 6:25-34) so that they and their progeny could have a better life. I know I'm thankful.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
I can't believe today is already September 1st. What happened to June, July, and August? Living in New England all my life, I've always noticed a distinct change in the air once Labor Day passes. I think it's God's way of turning our attention from the lazy days of summer and getting back into the more on-task routines of autumn.
The Church gives us a great reminder this weekend to get more on-task with how we live our faith as well. In the Second Reading, St. James reminds us that as the "firstfruits" of God's creation, we've been given a divine gift and have an obligation to care for the temporal and spiritual needs of others.
Dearest brothers and sisters: All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.
Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:to care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1: 17-18, 21b-22, 27
As St. James tells us later on: Faith of itself, without works is dead, (2:17) we must do more than hear God's word, we have to put it into action as well. Many church ministries are starting back up this time of year so you might consider getting involved in one of them (I suggest choir) or go back to volunteering in a youth program or soup kitchen. How we choose to glorify God is up to us. The key thing is that we do something and become doers, not just hearers.
Have a blessed Labor Day Weekend.