Usually I address my column to all our parishioners. This week, however, I would like to write a column especially for you as you are about to begin another school year. Even though you will miss the fun of summer, you will be happy to see all your friends.
First of all, I want to make you understand that you are precious in God’s eyes. God loves you in a special way. During his life on earth, Jesus paid particular attention to children and young people. The gospels tell us that on one occasion He welcomed children, hugged them and blessed them. He told His disciples that unless they became like little children, they would not enter God’s Kingdom. In Mark’s gospel Jesus meets a young man who wants to lead a perfect life. The evangelist adds a little detail: “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” That little detail tells us a lot about Jesus’ special love for young people. I also want you to know that you are very important to our parish. As your pastor, I am always delighted to see so many children and young people coming to Mass.
Second, I want to encourage you to use this academic year for your personal growth in holiness, wisdom and character. Time is a precious commodity and as we get older, we realize that it is getting scarcer. When you are young, it is easy to pretend that we have all the time in the world. Do use your time carefully and fully utilize the opportunities that God places on your path.
As you engage in these three important tasks (holiness, wisdom and character), don’t forget to be joyful. Learn to be happy. Practice seeing the positive side of life. You will find out that by being a good, caring, faith-filled person and by loving other people you will be happy.
Towards the end of chapter 2, Luke concludes the story of Jesus being lost and found in the Temple at the age of twelve thus:
Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years, and in divine and human favor.
You too are called to be a joyful member of your family and obey your parents. Just like Jesus, you need to increase in wisdom, in years, and in divine and human favor. This year is being given to you so that you can achieve these goals. The parish is here to help you.
I do pray for you. If there is anything I can do for you, do not hesitate to call on me.
Remember that God loves you tremendously!
Born in India to deeply-committed Catholic parents, Fr Britto is one of seven children. He joined the Salesians of Don Bosco as a young man and was ordained a priest in 1981.
After he completed his priestly formation and his early education in India, he came to the US for his graduate degree in Journalism at...Read more...