It was a clear night on the first day of October, when the parishioners of CDM gathered around the grotto for the recitation of the rosary. Led through the Glorious Mysteries, they prayed for the intentions for the the Pope, the Church and the needs of the community of Church of Divine Mercy (CDM). This was then followed by mass presided by the parish priest, Fr. Martin Arlando.
Being the feast day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church and reflecting on the day’s gospel reading (Mt. 18:1-5) on Jesus’ message of being child-like in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, Fr. Martin related the story of a child who had a doctor father who cared for his child in two different ways. In the first case, he healed the wounds of the child who had hurt herself after having fallen into a hole. In the second case, the father went ahead of the path of the child and protected her from hurt by closing up the hole. The question then posed to the congregation was which one did they think was the better role of the father. In fact, our Father in heaven does both things these things for us. He heals us as well mends the pathways of our lives and lead us not into temptation.
In being child like, Fr. Martin asked those present to emulate the example of St. Therese in doing things The Little Way. In her quest for sanctity, St. Therese believed that it was not necessary to accomplish heroic or great deeds in order to attain holiness or to express love for God. She realized how small and insignificant she was in God’s eyes and because of this she sought to seek out a means of getting to heaven in the shortest and very straight way through every good deed however small. She recognized her nothingness and just abandoned herself to God as would any child in the arms of a parent. This was also the example left us by St. Paul and the Virgin Mary. Fr. Martin asked the congregation to allow Jesus to be the one in their lives and leave the “I” behind. In this way, may we follow the example of St. Therese in showing our love for God in every deed no matter how big or small for healing and mending the paths of the lives of others in our community.
At the end of mass, all BEC leaders were called to the altar to receive a lighted candle and recite a pledge of dedicated service to their small communities. In doing so they were Called, Chosen and now Sent.
Dr. Ivan Filmer
3rd October, 2014.