I want to thank you for coming to this prayer service, in spite of the COVID19. I am very glad that St. John the Baptist parish has implemented our protocol thus enabling us to celebrate; the staff and volunteers have done a great job.
Today is our second annual Vesper celebration of the Memorial of St. Josemaría Escrivá, the 20th century saint who founded Opus Dei. A great witness to personal sanctification and sanctification of the world through our witness.
It is all the more poignant this year with our struggles over the past 4 months. The world has seen much and suffered much with this pandemic. We have all grown tired; there is a weariness, a frustration and maybe even anger in this struggle. We can, and probably do, find ourselves feeling sorry for what we are in; hopelessness is a constant pressure against our mental health.
But what are we to expect, St Theresa of Avila described life as “A bad night in a bad inn.” St. Josemaria commented on her quote: “…a good comparison isn’t it?” Christ told us that the disciple isn’t above his master” We shouldn’t expect our lives to always be nice and easy, with no challenges. Christ didn’t tell us to sit back and relax, I have done everything for you – no – he commanded us to pick up our cross and follow him.
Even when we understand this, we are still tempted to ask why me? Why now? Brothers and sisters, our Lord put us here, in these times, with these issues and trials for a reason; we are, or should be, reflections of Christ’s light, lighting the path through these dark times. Our constant efforts of sanctification of ourselves is the kind of witness that the world hungers for. In spite of all that is swirling around us, if we radiate Christ, and give an answer for our hope, the world will still move forward on the path to salvation. Our little efforts with will reap much fruit, though we probably will not see it. Faith, faith not only in the Triune God but faith that our efforts will further the mission; faith in His plan for us and with us is what He asks – keep doubt from eroding it. Christ is with us always!
I will close with one of my favorite quotes from Pope Benedict XVI:
“There are times when the burden of need and our own limitations might tempt us to become discouraged. But precisely then we are helped by the knowledge that, in the end, we are only instruments in the Lord’s hands; and this knowledge frees us from the presumption of thinking that we alone are personally responsible for building a better world. In all humility we will do what we can, and in all humility we will entrust the rest to the Lord. It is God who governs the world, not we. We offer him our service only to the extent that we can, and for as long as he grants us the strength. To do all we can with what strength we have, however, is the task which keeps the good servant of Jesus Christ always at work: “The love of Christ urges us on” (2 Cor 5:14).”
St. Josemaría, pray for us.