Dear Friends, today we remember my dear departed cousin, Judy Belanger Snell. Judy’s amazing grandparents lived the Catholic faith with a boldness that is often lacking today. Judy and I shared them with more than one hundred grandchildren and great grandchildren. I only hope and pray that some of their boldness has rubbed off on me and my generation.
Our grandparents were bold in asserting their priorities:
Never miss Mass on Sunday,
Go to confession regularly,
Pray the Rosary every day with family members,
Gathers every Sunday afternoon for dinner if possible at the grandparents,
Always go to wakes and funerals of relatives, friends and neighbors, and bring a hot dish,
Respect your elders,
There is always room for guests at the dinner table,
Marriage vows are sacred and until death.
I am surprised that I cannot recall our grandparents ever speaking these priorities out loud. They lived them, we depended on them and they shaped us profoundly.
From today’s readings, we consider the boldness of two of the first Christians, Peter and John, and the lack of boldness in Nicodemus.
In the midst of threats of beatings and imprisonment, Peter and John and the others prayed, “Lord, enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness.” As they prayed, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.
Finally, there is the Pharisee, Nicodemus, not a profile in courage or boldness. He is like so many men and husbands and fathers today, lacking the boldness to take up the mantle of being a parent and a leader in the spiritual life of the family.
Let us pray, especially for fathers, and for all of us to be born again in the spirit so that we can boldly live and proclaim our Catholic faith. Amen.
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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.