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Smiles!

Jul 29

Written by:
7/29/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

There are always a few things that make me smile during Mass: when the music fits the message of the homily, for example; it always feels like a moment of the Holy Spirit bringing multiple points together. The Holy Spirit also seems to be active when an infant or toddler makes a noise agreeing with a particular point in the homily, as well, that makes me laugh out loud at times. (Or when they are singing along with the music, too!)

I’m reminded of a time at a previous parish assignment, I processed over to proclaim the Gospel, and as I finished the introduction ‘A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark,’ a two-year-old right in front of me hollered, ‘YEAH!!!!’ I thought, shouldn’t we all be so excited to hear the Gospel proclaimed!

While the noises and activity of the little people in our midst always makes me smile, the participation by teenagers in the Mass and liturgy always makes me inspired. Our high school students who proclaim the Word of God have been well trained and do so with a grace and dignity; and sometimes with a greater poise and decorum than I bring myself! They have a seriousness and purpose that they bring to their work of proclaiming the Gospel that underlies the importance of the message that they are proclaiming. After all, the readings well proclaimed is a homily half preached. As they do their job well (and certainly, all our lectors do a very good job of proclaiming the Word), it helps shape the homily even before I or the deacon get to the ambo.

And it lightens my heart to see high schoolers assisting with the distribution of Holy Communion to their fellow parishioners.

At one point in time, it was vogue to have a ‘Youth Mass’ set up to minister directly to the needs of young people. Often set on a Sunday evening, these Masses often become ‘last chance’ Masses for those who have missed the Holy Sacrifice in other parts of the city. More recently, however, there is a preference for the youth of the parish to minister right alongside all the other parishioners in the regularly scheduled Masses of the parish.

Because as St. John Paul II challenged them: they are not the future of the Church and/or parish, young people are its present. They bring gifts and energy and enthusiasm that we all need to see and witness. And it is good that they do so; it is good that they are well trained and formed in order to do so; it is good that we see and hear them in the parish; for without them, we have no future.

Of particular note, I would like to thank Pam and Becky at Corpus Christi and St. John Neumann and the teams they have assembled in working with our young people. Please pray for them. Pray that they are open to the Holy Spirit in making decisions for their lives. Pray for them in the challenges they face.

And most of all, face the challenge to be open to them, in the squiggles of the littlest members of our parishes, to the proclamation of the rising generation; that we might all learn from them what Jesus meant when he admonished the Twelve: ‘Let the little children come to me, for it is too such as these that the Kingdom of God belongs.’

 

God Bless,

Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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