A Second’s Thought
We are companions on the journey!
Companions, through the gift (power)(promise) of God’s own SPIRIT, with Christ and one another.
So, Saint __________, pray for us as we grow.
(Whose name would you place into that short prayer? Do you have a particular patron? How about your own name, do you think about yourself as saint?)
Saints share a special place in our catholic way of being disciples of Christ. They are companions on our journey—the official ones whose life in heaven we celebrate and the ‘people like me’ that make up the Body of Christ here on earth.
Our patrons may be those whose life and legacy, whose story of faithful living, inspires us in a special way. This unique connection may come because of our name (St. Joseph), the occupation they pursued (Isidore, patron of farmers), where they lived (American saints), or how they lived (Elizabeth, queen of Portugal, known for her great generosity is patron of Catholic charities).
Saints have been on my mind recently because we’ve celebrated the feast days of several these past few weeks including St. Elizabeth noted above. But also because of Baptism.
St. Paul teaches that we are ALL SAINTS because of our Baptism. The Grace(s) that make us part of the Body of Christ and dwelling places of the Holy Spirit form us into a communion of companions, the saints.
(By the way, Baptism’s Grace not only makes us ‘saints’ but, as the prayer of christening/charismation (anointing) proclaims, Baptism also bestows upon us the Priestly, Prophetic and Royal dignity of Jesus THE Christ! But more on our priesthood and prophetic call at another time, eh?)
So, as saints, as companions, we journey onward as last week I mentioned several events and opportunities that we’ll encounter as we journey together.
As Jesus instructed in the Gospel last week, go forth to share the Good News that the reign of God is at hand. And as this week’s familiar parable teaches, help them. If they need help, no other information is needed: HELP THEM! And continue then the journey…
One of the saints whose feast we recently celebrated is St. Junipero, Father Serra (whose statue is in the U.S. capital as a “founder’ of sorts of California).
His legacy is somewhat mixed, but it is clear he sought to offer the aid of community and faith, the Good News of God’s Love to the native peoples of California.
Apparently, ‘siempre adalante’ was a motto of sorts for our brother Junipero: ‘keep moving.’ Perhaps not a bad motto and patron as our journey continues, Companions in Christ (by Baptism, remember!) growing by our prayer,
service and grateful praise toward the fullness of God’s reign on earth.
The Franciscan email service (Fr. Serra was a Franciscan friar) sent this reflection about St. Junipero on his feastday (July 1) and I thought it had some thoughts (including that ‘gotta keep growing’ motto) that were worth sharing as we ponder the path ahead and the call Christ continues to extend to us, His companions, God’s saints, and brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ: “Junipero Serra’s recent canonization should prompt us to awaken our own missionary spirit.”
[Recall, in last week’s Gospel Jesus sending out His disciples—now us—in pairs telling us to ‘travel lightly’?] “Taking with him only the certainty that God was calling him to missionary discipleship, Fr. Serra came to the New World to be a witness to God’s love.
“Let us keep his spirit before us, a vision of life encompassed in his motto as was recalled by Pope Francis: “Fr. Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, not just a saying, but above all a reality which shaped the way he lived: siempre adelante! Keep moving forward!
“For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb, from being anesthetized.
“He kept moving forward, because the Lord was waiting. He kept going, because his brothers and sisters were waiting. He kept going forward to the end of his life. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Forward! Let’s keep moving forward!”
Moving forward, Companions in Christ, abundantly blessed with gifts to share in service. Gifted as well with the hope that it is God’s Spirit that guides us with Wisdom and Love to both Justice and Joys to be shared.
As a communion of saints celebrating together in this Larkin family of faith, we dedicate ourselves to the growing that God is seeking to give, in Grace, in Word and Sacrament and in the opportunities for grateful, generous Loving living that come to us each day.
Siempre adalante! Amen and Alleluia!