“He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
Acts Chapter10 Verse 38
Here’s a suggestion for the early days of January: Let’s make 2020 a “Francis Year.” If I sound mysterious, I don’t mean to. Our Holy Father wants us to be inspired to greatness, constantly renewed in the Spirit. So let’s check in with him and see how we can make this New Year our personal best as missioners.
“Ask yourselves this question,” says Pope Francis. “How often is Jesus inside and knocking at the door to be let out…?”
That’s a very personal question. But one worth pondering. We can start our spiritual check-up with those who have always meant the most to us: our families. This is where relationships are born and cared for—and where misunderstandings can cause the most hurt. In one of his talks on family life, Our Holy Father said something I’ve never forgotten: “A healthy family life requires frequent use of three phrases: “May I?” “Thank you,” and “I’m sorry.” Never, never, never end the day without making peace.”
Friend, in today’s Gospel Jesus acknowledged his call to serve when he received the gift of baptism. Pope Francis reminds us that through baptism each of us is called to be a missionary disciple, too. From that day forward we were anointed to do good and witness the joy of the our faith. So with these blessings, I wish you what I’m calling a “Francis Year.” Our Holy Father keeps things simple. He says, “Whether the New Year will be good or not depends on us choosing to do good each day.” May each of us choose to do good and pass it on.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Raymond J. Finch, M.M.
Prayer for The Baptism of the Lord
At Your baptism, Lord Jesus,
the Holy Spirit set Your heart ablaze
with love for sinners, the poor,
the oppressed, and those on the margins
of society, the church, or perhaps even
our friends and family.
Make our relationships healthy and holy
through Your spirit of reconciliation.
Give us the courage and humility
to ask “May I…?”
the strength to say “I’m sorry”
and the wisdom to say “Thank you”
to all people through whom
You bless and fill my life.
May my baptism compel me
to cross every border,
to travel any distance, great or small,
to leave the comfort of this world
to seek, find, and share with all
Your gospel of peace, mercy and truth.
Prayer by Father Joseph R Veneroso, M.M.