Today is CATECHETICAL SUNDAY in the Catholic Church in the United States. Today celebrates the Teaching Ministry of the Word in our Parish Religious Education Program and our Parish School. This year’s theme is: PRAYER: THE FAITH PRAYED. It is a reminder that our prayer is a dialogue with God, who has revealed himself in Christ Jesus, his Son, the Word made flesh. Our community, like all communities, is one of prayer and our prayer is meant to be reflected in the way we live. In celebration of the Teaching Ministry of Word, we recognize our DIRECTOR OF RELIGIOUS EDUCATION, NANCY CAPUTO, our PARISH CATECHISTS, our SCHOOL PRINCIPAL, CAROLINE PONTERIO, and our SCHOOL TEACH- ERS. They have chosen to share their talents in teaching the Good News, but also to model the Good News for our children, youth and adults.
ANN MARIE GENNINGER has been a catechist for 40 years! In so doing, she has shown us fidelity to the Lord and to all the children she has taught and formed over all these years. In the name of our entire parish, and myself, CONGRATULATIONS, ANN MARIE! Well done, good and faithful servant.
While we may not formally be catechists, we are all called to be teachers and role models of our faith. Our faith in God is more than just coming together each week to listen to the Word and Break Bread together. Our faith has to be translated into the way we live, the way we speak and act towards one another. We accept the responsi- bility to be role models for our children and grandchildren, showing them an example of what it means to be a disciple of the Lord.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is reminding us that each of us has certain talents and abilities, which God has given to us and which are meant to be used for the good of others. As each of us is different, so are our talents and abili- ties. Yet, they are all meant to complement each other and to build up the Kingdom of God. This shows us the diversity of the church, so that our lives are enriched by the gifts we are for one another and the gifts we have for the good of all. Of course, it would be easy to try to hide them, like the man in the Gospel who hid his talent in the ground. But all that does is make our life empty. As Jesus has enriched our lives with his presence, so we are called to do the same. In the process, we will come to discover how enriched are our lives!
Next Saturday, September 24, is Stewardship Day. This is an opportunity for us to use our talents for the good of our parish, and our town. Not everyone can do everything, but what little we think we do, when put to- gether creates a better parish, a better church, a better town and a better world. Mother Theresa said it better: “What I can do, you cannot; what you can do, I cannot; but together we can build something beautiful for God.” If we are unable to do anything, we can always pray that the rest of us will be able to help build the Kingdom of God on earth. This connects us to the theme of Catechetical Sunday. It is mean to be inclusive, so that no one feels excluded from helping make the Good News of Jesus real for others. As a welcoming community, we can do whatever we can, not just to make people feel welcome here, but also to help those who have been here feel a vital part of the life of the parish, no matter who they are or what they do to enrich all of us.
HAPPY CATECHETICAL SUNDAY!!!!
~ FR. JOE!