Sacred Heart Church Columbus

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From Fr. Andrew for Sunday February 5, 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,                              We are Christ’s disciples. As such we are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. In the ancient world, salt was one of the most important necessities of life, especially for preserving and seasoning food. So, too, the light for obvious reasons. These are beautiful images used by Jesus in today’s Gospel. Both images are making the same point: Jesus’ disciples have avital role to play in the world through their good deeds. When the disciples stop witnessing through their deeds, they become as useless as salt that has lost its taste or a lamp that doesn’t give light. Pope Saint John Paul II meditated upon the above theme, for the occasion on the 7th International Youth Day in Toronto; 2002.“ You are the light of the world...”. For those who first heard Jesus, as for us, the symbol of light evokes the desire for truth and the thirst for the fullness of knowledge which are imprinted deep within every human being. When the light fades or vanishes altogether, we no longer see things as they really are. In the heart of the night, we can feel frightened and insecure, and we impatiently await the coming of the light of dawn. Dear young people, it is up to you to be the watchmen of the morning (cf. Is 21:11-12) who announce the coming of the sun who is the Risen Christ! The light which Jesus speaks of in the Gospel is the light of faith, God’s free gift, which enlightens the heart and clarifies the mind. “Itis the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). That is why the words of Jesus explaining His identity and His mission are so important: “Iam the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).Our personal encounter with Christ bathes life in new light, sets us on the right path, and sends us out to be His witnesses. This new way of looking at the world and at people, which comes to us from Him, leads us more deeply into the mystery of faith, which is not just a collection of theoretical assertions to be accepted and approved by the mind, but an experience to be had, a truth to be lived, the salt and light of all reality (cf. Veritatis Splendor, 88).In this secularized age, when many of our contemporaries think and act as if God did not exist or are attracted to irrational forms of religion, it is you, dear young people, who must show that faith is a personal decision which involves your whole life. Let the Gospel be the measure and guide life’s decisions and plans! Then you will be missionaries in all that you do and say, and wherever you work and live you will be signs of God’s love, credible witnesses to the loving presence of Jesus Christ. Never forget: “No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a bushel” (Mt 5:15)! Just as salt gives flavor to food and light illumines the darkness, so too, holiness gives full meaning to life and makes it reflect God’s glory. How many saints, especially young saints, can we count in the Church’s history! In their love for God their heroic virtues shone before the world, and so they became models of life which the Church has held up for imitation by all. Let us remember only a few of them: Agnes of Rome, Andrew of Phú Yên, Pedro Calungsod, Josephine Bakhita, Thérèse of Lisieux, Pier Giorgio Frassati, Marcel Callo, Francisco Castelló Aleu or again Kateri Tekakwitha,the young Iroquois called “the Lily of the Mohawks.” Through the intercession of this great host of witnesses, may God make you too, dear young people, the saints of the third millennium!”                                                                                        Keep smiling, be happy, God loves you!                        Fr. Andrew
From Fr. Andrew for Sunday, January 29, 2023
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, As Peter Kreeft said in his commentary on today’s Gospel: “Jesus is not nice. Jesus is not comfortable. Jesus is not safe. Jesus is not boring. Jesus turns our world upside down. This is shown most radically in today’s Gospel, which is the famous “Beatitudes,” the eight blessings, or graces, or gifts, which don’t look like blessings at all.” In the Beatitudes, we see the values a Christian should live by. While they present a great challenge, they also offer great rewards both here and hereafter. “...The Beatitudes are the badges of a true disciple of Christ. They are the marks of a child of God. They make us rich in the sight of God. They open our minds and hearts to a new way of seeing and judging. They give us a whole new set of bearings.                                                                                                                                                    The things the Beatitudes stand for are exceptionally beautiful and very precious – things such as peace, goodness, joy, love, gentleness, compassion, mercy, integrity … A person who lives according to the Beatitudes is already living in the Kingdom of Heaven. Eternal life will merely be the full blossoming of a plant that is green with life.” Fr. Flor McCarthy                                                                                                                Keep smiling, be positive,                                            God loves us!                                                                   Fr. Andrew