Fr. Raymond Gramata, Pastor
March 1, 2015
From your Pastor,
Lately, I have been hearing the expression “Pay It Forward”. This phrase has even appeared recently in the Bradford Era. What does this phrase have to do with us and more importantly what does it have to do with Lent? “Pay It Forward” usually comes into play when someone does something for us and does not want reimbursed. Jesus, the Son of God, “Paid it forward” for us through His death upon the cross and His resurrection. By that loving act, He brought about our redemption – “He Paid it forward” for us. So what then or how do we, in turn, pay this loving act forward? Lent is the season of the church which, not only celebrates the “Pay Forward” of Jesus, but asks us the simple question, “How are we paying it forward?”
In this Lenten season, the idea of “Pay it forward” brings to mind two questions: “What is my relationship to God?” and “What is my relationship to myself and others?” Let us look at the first question. Do I give God the proper amount of time each day? You and I find ourselves so busy - whether it’s what our kids are doing in school or what committees we may find ourselves on - that we find ourselves not having time to give to God. Jesus made Himself the priority in redeeming us; should we not do the same?
Let us examine the second question: “What is my relationship to myself and others?” Do I treat myself as a child of God? There is so much out there to cheapen what we think of ourselves. It can come from computers, social media or just old fashioned ‘gossip’. At times we think we are not hurting anyone else or not even ourselves, but we are. As parents, do we pass on to our children the values of our faith? Do we encourage them to attend Mass and Religious Ed Classes? But most of all do our children see us living out our faith? Do they see us going to Mass on Sundays? Lately, there have been many sports tournaments on Sundays that disrupt church attendance and/or Religious Ed Classes. Are you allowing sports to take precedence over Mass and Religious Ed classes?
Just as you have said it, your children repeat: “I don’t get anything out of church!” The question that I ask is: “What do you bring to church?” Do you truly come with the desire to encounter the Christ, both in Word and Sacrament? What you think of the Mass, is what your children will pick up. If you have your cell phones with you, either shut them off or put them on vibrate. Please do not text during Mass. I have seen it happen several times.
Jesus is asking us: “How are you paying forward what I have done for you?”