Catholic Schools Week | 31 January 2021
All were amazed and asked one another,
“What is this? A new teaching with authority.
He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”
Brothers and Sisters,
The Word of God is powerful; his holy word offers healing and mercy and can evoke monumental change. From biblical to modern times, those who have opened their hearts and ears to the teachings of Jesus Christ become changed individuals. We need to look no further than Saint Paul or Mary Magdalene for evidence that a personal transformation grounded in God’s will is life-changing and required for an authentic disciple of Christ.
Even if we know that Jesus can change our lives in our hearts, we can often get tripped up on “the how” to become a transformed person in Christ. You’re not alone. Our Parish discipleship pathway, we call “FOUR,” is a great place to start. Like an Examine of Conscious, it is a spiritual tool. At the heart of FOUR are four words spoken by the one who knows you best, who made you – Jesus himself – four Gospel verses that offer you a way of living, a pathway to joy and purpose. These four simple words, Belong, Believe, Become, Beyond provides a path to joy and meaning in Jesus. With this in mind, I encourage parishioners and families, independently and with spiritual friendships, to reflect on where Christ is calling them to grow at this moment.
BELONG, Am I called to embrace belonging to a community, and this gift from Chris called the Church? Belonging requires an openness to relationships and a willingness to let others get to know our true selves.
BELIEVE, Am I called to grow in faith by establishing more vigorous prayer habits or improving participation in the Sacraments and Mass? Would my belief in the promises of Christ deepen if I took the time to study Scripture independently or in a Small Group?
BECOME, Am I called to offer my life to the Lord in a more committed way? How we choose to use our time and if and when we share our God-given gifts shapes our lives and determines the person we will become. Have I reflected and prayed on my skills and where the Holy Spirit calls me to share those gifts to service for the Lord? Significant discernment and adjusting our lifestyle are often required, but if we follow Christ’s where leads us, our destination will always be one of greater purpose and fulfillment.
BEYOND, Do I recognize the ways my faith challenges me to live as an authentic witness, engaging in one (or more likely a few) of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy? Even during the pandemic, have I found creative ways to alleviate the struggles and burdens of those I love and those I’m learning to love?
I encourage you to visit THE PATH – FOUR and discover out how God is calling you to a deeper life of joy and purpose in Jesus.
OLPH is blessed with many partners assisting each other on their faith journeys, and as we celebrate Catholic Schools Week, I am reminded of the tremendous graces flowing from our parish school. OLPH School is an evident blessing for our students and their families, but it also is a source of creativity and cooperation in our broader efforts as a parish to teach and form our youth and build a strong community.
I have tremendous gratitude to our Principal, Matt Malone, who is an outstanding leader. He has a genuine passion for our school and parish community, going beyond expectations. With our Assistant Principal Heather Schell, the teachers and staff have excelled, despite this pandemic’s challenges. Our talented school staff has adapted to teaching both in-person and online, often at the same time, my heartfelt thanks go out to our incredible teachers! Moreover, our nursing team has worked so hard, including the maintenance staff, to keep the school safe and healthy. I thank God for our fantastic team! Lastly, I encourage your prayers and support for our school. Consider donating here to the School Annual Fund. Let us implore the intercession of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the servant of God, Mother Mary Lange, who helped their students learn knowledge but, more importantly, know and love the Lord.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.
Rev. Michael S. Triplett