Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.In a sizeable parish like St. Raphael, it would be a challenge for everyone to know your name. Yet, it’s true that God knows everyone’s name. He says, “I love you and You are Mine.” And He’s always glad you came. God brought all of us sinners together and forgives us through Jesus. In Christ, we know that our troubles are all the same. St. Paul reminds us that “God was … entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So, we are ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). Isn’t our Church’s mission to be the place that responds to the human longing we hear in the “Cheers” theme song?
In a Homily from July 2015, Pope Francis seemed to agree: “How many times do we see mission in terms of plans and programs … [The Lord says] you do not convince people with arguments, strategies or tactics. You convince them by simply learning how to welcome them.
The Church is a mother with an open heart. She knows how to welcome and accept, especially those in need of greater care, those in greater difficulty. The Church, as desired by Jesus, is the home of hospitality….How much pain can be soothed, how much despair can be allayed in a place where we feel at home! This requires open doors, especially the doors of our heart. Welcoming the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner (Mt 25:34-37), the leper and the paralytic. Welcoming those who do not think as we do, who do not have faith or who have lost it. And sometimes, we are to blame. Welcoming the persecuted, the unemployed. Welcoming the different cultures, of which our earth is so richly blessed. Welcoming sinners, because each one of us is also a sinner.
[A Church that is] a welcome-filled fraternity is the best witness that God is our Father, for ‘by this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’ (Jn 13:35).”
Let’s pray and work together to share Christ’s message of love and mercy!