Many years ago I was a 6th grade catechist with 21 young people in my room and 21 young people in Mrs. Berger’s 6th grade. Once a year our pastor, Father Virgil Braun, came into each grade level. He was an amazing teacher in creative and surprising ways. It wasour practice that parents and children would go over the lesson before our Wednesday Faith Formation session. On this particular Wednesday Fr. Braun entered a crowded room of 42 6th graders who were noisy and wiggly at the end of their school day. He stood in the front of the room looking over the group and finally said in an uncharacteristic loud voice, “I’ve been hearing this group has been a handful this year.” As he paused, the room got more quiet. He continued, “I’ve been hearing you have been pretty disrespectful. Your parents work hard and pay taxes so you can have this nice space we rented space in the public school). If you don’t take care of it, they’ll have to pay more money to fix it. (pause) I’ve heard you’ve been disrespectful to your teachers. You know these volunteers work hard preparing to be with you and helping you learn about your faith and God’s love.”
The room was so quiet—no one moved! After a few more similar comments, Father asked, “Who do I sound like?” No one was too eager to say a word, but with some prompting a few brave people raised their hands and listed, “parents . . . teachers . . . Mrs. Berger (my cocatechist)” to which Father responded, “Maybe, who else?” Finally he said, “The prophets!
Prophets call us back to who we are to be when we forget!”
Every Advent when we hear about John the Baptist, I know it is time to look inside my heart. How am I be prepared to see Christ in my family? Friends? World events? In myself? What do I need to let go of to see Christ more clearly? What do I need to add? Who are the prophets in my life today? May our Advent Prayer be “Lord, help us to prepare not only for Christmas celebrations, but for your arrival in our hearts.”
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC