Happy Independence Day! Hopefully you celebrated a great July 4th a few days ago: had fun, gathered with family, barbequed, and all the regular stuff we usually do. Those things are great, but how should we celebrate our big day as followers of Jesus? Let’s look toward John Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of our country and see how he thinks we should celebrate the 4th: “It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with shows, games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.” We tend to do pretty well with the Parades and Pomp. Sports? Maybe you played a pickup game during your picnic? We are good with the Bonfires as well! But what about those Solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty?
Whether we realize it or not, we owe God more than anyone else for what occurred in 1776, and most especially for freeing us from sin 2000 years ago. The most famous part of the Declaration of Independence states it clearly when it says that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. It is not too late for that Solemn Act of devotion. Why not come to daily Mass this week? Come to my Bible study on the 16th; read the Unleash the Gospel letter and pray for those in our world who do not have religious freedom; volunteer in one of the many opportunities we offer at the Cathedral; or pick a cause and get civically involved. We are so blessed to live in this country with all of the freedoms we have; let’s show the Lord we are grateful.
Mark your Calendars! In addition to the celebration of the Mass, the next two weekends here at the Mother Church we have some opportunities for you to be enriched. On July 14, you can stick around a few minutes after Mass and learn about our next phase in Unleashing the Gospel. Raquel Fournier will be present to help you plug into the Cathedral’s Mission more fully. It will include prayer and a chance for you to give your input. When you walk away, you will be more convicted as to how the Lord is engaging you. Please plan to come!
Then, on July 21, a wonderful young woman will be present to enlighten us. Meg Hunter-Kilmer, a speaker, blogger, and self-described “Hobo for Christ” will join us at 4:30 pm. She says: “After two degrees in theology and five years of teaching religion, I felt that God was calling me to follow him in a more literal way, so I quit my job, packed everything into my car, and hit the road. Since June 2012, I’ve been a hobo for the kingdom, traveling the country speaking to anyone who’ll listen about the goodness of God, Catholic apologetics, Christian morality, and the life of prayer.” Meg will be speaking about the saints whose relics rest under our altar here at Blessed Sacrament: The martyrs Theophilus & Pacifica, and three women added by Cardinal Maida: Saints Elizabeth Ann Seton, Katharine Drexel, and Faustina Kowalski. I have heard this wonderful woman speak before and she is on fire! Her storytelling helps everyone want to be more saintlike! Make room on your calendar, you won’t be sorry.