October 1 , 2020 – Thursday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time (Memorial: St. Therese of the Child Jesus)
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100120.cfm)
As the Corona Virus Pandemic continues to bring disorder in our way of life and as we continue to be limited in our movements especially with our religious practices essential to our faith, some parents and grandparents have expressed their worries as to the faith formation of the young generation. The Holy Eucharist and other public celebration of the Sacraments including catechetical gatherings intended for the younger generation, remain to be banned from the vast majority. Though many cities have been allowed to have the public religious gathering by 50% of the building/Church’s capacity, yet, minors and Senior Citizens are still discouraged to be present physically.
This poses a concern as to how we continue the moral and spiritual formation of the young and the continual spiritual nourishment of the older ones. Consequently, the Church have found ways on how to reach out to those who are excluded particularly now through the use of social media. Yet, this might not be enough since not everyone can access it and the Church’s programs may not be appealing to the young.
More than ever, the Church is in need of the “active participation” of parents, grandparents and young adults to be at the frontline in terms of moral and spiritual formation of the younger generation.
Today’s Gospel reminds us of this mission we share from the 72 disciples sent ahead by Jesus to the cities where he intended to visit. They were Jesus’ front-liners at that time. Jesus sent them ahead to announce to them that God’s Kingdom is at hand. They were to prepare the hearts of the people who have been longing to see God and to experience good things from the Lord as what our Psalm proclaims today.
Thus, the 72 disciples were told to bring peace to every household they visit. Even if there was the possibility of being rejected by those who were not ready, they were still to bring peace. As they were told to stay with those who welcomed them, the disciples were told to accept their hospitality and also to bring healing to those in pain, wounded, and sick.
These were ways of nurturing those hearts who were longing to see God, to bring hope to those who were in despair and give hope to those who find life difficult and miserable.
This is also the call to each of us now especially with you parents, grandparents and adults who live among and with the younger generation. Your presence is needed even more now to be those disciples of the Lord in your own context, that is, to be front-liners at home.
You have this very important role to play to serve as front-liners, to prepare the hearts and mind of the younger ones, to nurture and develop their young faith and relationship with God.
St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast we celebrate today, reminds us of the mission we share with one another. St Therese is even called as the Patron of Mission even though she herself stayed most of her life inside the convent. Her little ways, her compassion and thoughtfulness to her sisters, her prayers and devotion were her ways of participating in God’s mission.
Thus, for all of us too, we do our little and humble ways in participating in God’s mission. Parents, grandparents and adults, again, do your little ways in educating and nurturing the younger ones. Be welcoming to their different responses and be accepting to their ways of doing things and in relating with God. Affirm them and appreciate their efforts.
But remember, to nurture and to develop one’s relationships with God is not done through “imposition” or by “force.” Never impose and never use force in nurturing the young ones. They learn by example. They admire through our sincere words and actions. They see and recognize God through us.
In this way, we may be able to truly bring peace in our homes and bring healing into the hearts of our own family and friends. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR