Those are some powerful words from John, one of Jesus disciples. Powerful because they put to rest the concern and the anxiety that many of us have about our love for God, whether it is enough, whether God appreciates our efforts to love him, whether we will ever succeed. Think about all the time and effort that some of us spend trying to earn God’s love when God’s love for us is unconditional and freely given.
Proof of God’s love for us was demonstrated so beautifully as we celebrated Christmas and the birth of the son of God who came to live among us as a man. Proof of that love was manifested in providing us with a loving mother, not only the mother who gave birth to Jesus but Mary, the women of compassion and love who makes herself present to us and our needs today as does her son.
In every age men and women have appropriated that message and made it their own seeking to convey the sentiments of the living Word today. It was Theresa of Avila who penned the words that said of us that we are the feet, the eyes, the ears, the voice of Jesus in our world today.
We are celebrating the birthday of one such voice today, that of Venerable Patrick Peyton. He himself needed healing, burdened with an illness that curtailed his life’s ambition to serve God as a priest. Through prayer and the intercession of the mother of Jesus, Patrick was healed. He would go on to dedicate his life healing families throughout the world urging them to pray together as a family.
Over time his voice would be heard by 26 million people from across the world. His message was simple. Come together as a family. Let prayer, rosary prayer be the tool that would unify mother, father, sister, brother. For Father Peyton, family prayer, coming together as a family would be a concrete manifestation of what St. John spoke of in his letter today, mothers, fathers, children loving one another as God loved us, a light set on a lamp stand for all to see, giving off rays of compassion and mutual love. Father Peyton’s mission in life was helping families pray because he felt coming together to pray would help family members remain close to one another.
You and I both know that this ideal waits to be realized but so does the love that God has for us. It too waits to be realized by many of us.
About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!