Dear brothers and sisters,
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Last week as people were walking into the 10:30 Mass I noticed a woman who was bringing her neighbor to church. Afterwards I greeted them, and they said that it was his first time in St. John’s. He was very happy to come and participate in the liturgy there with our young congregation and beautiful choir. That brief encounter reminded me of the story in today’s Gospel reading (John 1:35-42) of Andrew inviting his brother Simon Peter to see Jesus. “Behold, the Lamb of God,” stated John the Baptist about Jesus. Andrew wanted to go to see who John was talking about, but he did not go alone – he extended the invitation to his brother.
This is the living “chain” of invitation that builds up the Body of Christ. When is the last time you invited someone to pray with you, to come to church, or to learn about Jesus and the Church at a Bible study or adult education class? Jesus says to all of us, “Come, and you will see.” The Body of Christ is built up one person at a time, through the personal invitation of a friend or family member. May we have the courage to become part of this great chain that extends through all times and cultures.
This week marks a return to Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar, as we await the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday on February 18. Of course, we are back to our regular lives at work and school, and the activities of the parish are anything but “ordinary.” Please make an effort to get involved in the many events in our parish and community. In particular, this January 22 marks the anniversary of the legalization of abortion in our country, and it has become a day in which we rally, especially in prayer, for an end to the culture of death that rules so often in our society. If you cannot travel this Thursday on our parish bus to Washington, D.C., please say a special prayer that day that a culture of life and love will prevail in our families, community, and nation. Peace!