The Lenten Journey | Our Lady of Lebanon SydneyPosted by Our Lady of Lebanon Church - Sydney on Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
Welcome to the Season of Pentecost. The Feast of Pentecost commemorates the day on which Jesus’ disciples received the Holy Spirit. It was a moment in time when God broke into humanity to fulfil the promise that Jesus made to His disciples: “The Advocate, the Holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name – He will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.” (John 14: 26). Jesus knew that the gift of the Holy Spirit was the most important gift He could give them because it was the same Holy Spirit that led Jesus throughout His life. “He grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favour of God was upon Him.” (Luke 2:40) Pentecost began a new era in which everyone, regardless of his or her language of origin, could hear the word of God through the Spirit. Pentecost is a time for each of us to hear God’s personal invitation to live a baptized life. The question is whether we will respond to His message or will His message be drowned out by the languages of the world that we are accustomed to hearing on a daily basis.
Continuing on the topic of the family, I would like to turn this week to the most precious gift from God – our children. Pope Francis says that children are gift to parents and society, and that there is no future for a civilization which views them as merely an inconvenience. Children, he said, “are the fruit of their parents’ love and a gift of God, whose own infinite love bestows inviolable dignity and worth upon each person who comes into the world.” He continues by noting how everyone has had the experience of being a child. To be children, he said, allows us to discover the free dimension of love, and to have the experience of being loved before doing anything to deserve it.
As parents do we cherish this gift by encouraging and supporting our children or do we discourage them by trying to control and dictate? Do we allow them to develop their own character or do we try to form them in a way that only suits us without allowing them to grow? Khalil Gebran, the famous Lebanese philosopher and poet says, “Your children are not yours, they are the children of life.” If we are good examples for them, then they will grow and learn through this example and the good life experiences that we provide. However, if we are bad examples, then we cannot blame them for choosing the wrong paths.
Last week we honoured two wonderful mothers who are great examples for us all at our Mother’s Day celebrations, Sr Constance Basha and Mrs Wardi Chahine. Their love and commitment to God and to this parish is extraordinary and we can all learn from their devotion. They have worked tirelessly during their lives in the service of this parish and they continue to do so. We honour them and all our mothers who are exceptional examples for us all. A big thank you to everyone who organized and participated in the Mother’s Day celebrations. Again, this day proved that when all our priests and committees collaborate and cooperate together with our parishioners, we can do wonders. Through your generosity we were able to raise just over $10,000 for the presbytery construction.
I pray that you all have a blessed week and truly experience the grace of the Holy Spirit in this blessed Season.