“Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the LORD, who has mercy on you.” (IS 54: 10)
If we consider that these words come from Our Lord, “Who has mercy on us,” and “though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, His love shall never leave us,” we are the happiest persons in the world. He is never tired of communicating this to us; He is always with us, and His love has no end. We are chosen and loved.
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths: All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (PHL 4: 4-7)
Today Our Lord recommends to us: “Rejoice always; again I will say, rejoice.” Why? Because “the Lord is at hand,” and with Him comes the “peace of God, which surpasses all understanding,” and “will keep our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.” The first fruit of this in our lives is gentleness and kindness (or forbearance). When we are truly united with God, we are truly united with others.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Gospel Acclamation)
Today is my official, liturgical Anniversary of Priesthood–I was ordained priest 30 years ago on Gaudete Sunday!
[Photo by Paweł Sobczyk, added by the blog editors]
“When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles.” (LK 6: 13)
Our Lord “chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles,” and these Twelve are the foundation stones in the Church. Their mission was to preach the word of God, but more important was that they were to be very close to Jesus: “He called his disciples to himself.”
“We praise you, O God, we acclaim you as Lord; the glorious company of Apostles praise you.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (MT 9: 37-38)
This request from God was the Church’s concern from the beginning: “the harvest is abundant but the laborers are few.” We depend on priests because they bring us the most Holy Eucharist and the sacrament of Penance. But Our Lord needs our prayer: “so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” The more abundant the harvest is, the more prayer we need.
“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Then they prayed, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry from which Judas turned away to go to his own place.’ Then they gave lots to them, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was counted with the Eleven Apostles.” (ACTS 1: 24-26)
Our Lord “knows the hearts of all,” and He prepares us for service in the Church in the best place for us. Some are elected to be apostles (or their successors), some to be missionaries, and some husbands and fathers. We are given different vocations and different roles but always the same unconditional love of Our Lord, who chooses for us the best: “show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this apostolic ministry.” We are His children, chosen to bring everlasting fruits not by what we do, but especially by who we are and how much we love Him and His Church. We are chosen to be not to do only. “He was counted with the Eleven Apostles.”
“I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last, says the Lord.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“We set sail from Troas, making a straight run for Samothrace, and on the next day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, a leading city in that district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We spent some time in that city.” (ACTS 16: 11 – 12)
Following these days of St. Paul’s mission trip, I found that proclaiming the Good News still uses the same strategies: travel from city to city, where from time to time “we spent some time in that city.” And everywhere are good people, who “offer us an invitation, ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,’ and she prevailed on us.” The Good News doesn’t go to crowds, doesn’t go to people in general, always goes to individuals, to homes, and to people of good will. Jesus’ love is never general, but always individual, and He loves us and calls us by name.
“The Spirit of truth will testify to me, says the Lord, and you also will testify.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.” (JN 15: 20-21)
We are just servers of Our Lord’s word. We keep it alive and proclaim it because it is not ours but His. And if people listen to us when we proclaim God’s word, it is not because of us but only because of Him.
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Gospel Acclamation)
Without priests willing to cooperate with the Family Support Foundation there is no future for the Love and Life Programs. That is why we are very happy and honored to be able to publish the vidoes through which we can meet Fr. Michael Voithofer from St. James and Fr. Bill Safranek, the Pastor at St. Joanne d’Arc parish in Omaha, Nebraska. Fr. Michael and Fr. Bill have taken part in the preparation process to present the I+YOU=WE Program. We’re hoping that in autumn Fr. Michael will be able to present the Program on his own, together with the Coach Couples from our FamilyCare Center of Omaha.
We would like to wish Fr. Michael and Fr. Bill many blessings and graces of the Holy Spirit on this journey! Thank you so much for joining us!
The testimonies are definitely the most beautiful part of the Program. We can all share the moments we remembered in a special way. I am happy to hear the Participants like the Program for being so practical and so insightful on everyday life of a married couple. We are grateful for all the belssings of that time.
For the first time in history we could listen to Fr. Michael Voithofer from St. James parish in Omaha (where I stayed last year), who started learning the Program at that time and now presented it for the first time and on Sunday gave a lecture on Topic 5: Dialogue and Communication. His performance was brilliant, showing the real expertise in the field and making it an excellent part of the whole Program. In September we’re planning a Program which will be presented by Fr. Michael entirely on his own. That gives us a very optimistic perspective for the growth of our Love and Life mission in Omaha. I hope Fr. Bill Safranek will be willing to join in.
The Mass is always the grande finale of the Program. It makes it possible to thank Our Lord and to bring Him all the couples taking part in the Program, entrusting their future to Him.
I would like to thank again all who helped us prepare the Program, and all those of you, my Dear Ones, who have supported the Program with your prayers. May Our Lord reward you abundantly.
Remembering you warmly in my prayers
Martha and Todd – a Coach Couple
Lisa i Kevin – a Coach Couple and the Coordinators of FamilyCare Center Omaha
Fr. Bill Safranek, the Pastor at St. Joanne d’Arc parish and the host of I+YOU=WE in Omaha
Fr. Michael Voithofer, a priest at St. James parish in Omaha, Nebraska, trained to present Program 1
Fr. Michael during the presentation of Lecture 5: Dialogue and Communication