Based on my homily given at St. Augustine’s Seminary, Serra House Campus on the 1st Friday of Advent.
There are a lot more people out there in the world that we minister to with faith; but we have to see things as Jesus sees them in order to truly believe that. In today’s Gospel Jesus prepares Himself to heal these two blind men who approach Him, and as He does He appeals to their faith to believe that this can happen. And they do. As they are healed (though we don’t hear of this) we assume that this action taking place invites them into what will be a deeper encounter with God. I visit a lot of high schools as Vocation Director but I visited a lot more classrooms as a parish priest and even though I was in a very busy parish, I took the time four days a week and for most of the day to visit young people in their classrooms. I don’t remember a classroom that when I visited regularly, someone didn’t have questions. Sometimes I needed to be creative in the ways I drew the questions (getting them to write them down) but the questions were there. The kids, many of them were striving for a deeper faith, to know God more, to understand the Church and what they were being taught.
I reiterate something I mentioned yesterday and it’s our disposition that’s an important in doing the Lord’s work. If we’re ‘glass half-full men’ who are positive, joyful and see the best in our circumstances and situations – we will see ourselves into the places the Lord wants us to be. If we’re ‘glass half-empty men’ who are negative, downcast and see what isn’t right – we will limit ourselves and those we reach. If we are too dour, we actually make the Good News very unappealing. The kids may or may not be going to Church, but perhaps they had no motivation before – we inspire, we motivate, we invite – or the Lord does so through us!
And if we believe that the Catholic schools aren’t Catholic enough, we ought to reform our own way of thinking – we need remind ourselves that Catholic school is not the Catholic Church. We live in a province with a public school board that where we can go in, pray with teachers & students, talk about God openly and make a positive difference in the lives of those whom we meet there. We can invite everyone into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ – as priests we can even at times heal people who come to us of spiritual blindness and ailments. If I didn’t bring a joyful attitude and the love of Christ with me when I went into the school, I wouldn’t have heard the countless confessions of teachers who would pull me aside in the staffroom and ask for it. Brothers, I assure you that if we allow people and the faith they already have to flourish with our positive Christian attitude – we will do the Lord’s work. We can rest assured of that.