Last week in my homily I mentioned a bit of irony relating to Memorial Day. It is a somewhat somber day designated to look back and use the unbelievable gift of memory to connect with and honor those who have passed away, and for us Christians, those who have gone before us into eternity.
The irony comes in because it is also a day that unofficially begins summer. In that beginning, we look forward to warmer weather and outdoor fun. This dual energy also applies to many other events taking place this time of year. Many institutions such as Holy Family and families are acknowledging the accomplishments of students in graduation ceremonies and festivities, but these people are also naturally looking ahead to high school, college, further studies and careers.
Memorial Day invites us to remember those who have given their lives in military service to both defend and preserve our freedom. Those of us who rest beneath the banner of that freedom should simply and sincerely express our gratitude. Perhaps the deepest expression of gratitude is to continue to preserve that precious freedom with our lives and actions moving forward.
Once again, we are looking both back and forward in this endeavor.
It is in this continued dual energy that we celebrate this weekend with our founding pastor, Med Laz. Med is celebrating 50 years of priestly ministry but his dedication and creativity are cornerstones for our community of faith.
Med has engaged so many founders of Holy Family Catholic Community, many of you who are still so active in carrying out our vibrant and ambitious mission. He personally drew so many people in to share the spirit of a faith community that is unique and progressive.
He combined his own personal strengths with a charge from Cardinal Bernardin to establish a community that responded to a spiritual need. That need was, and continues to be, a more vibrant and relevant celebration of our faith. It involves using varied and creative means to pray and learn.
With Med’s vision and so many whom he engaged, Holy Family has grown in our innovative liturgies, looking back at the best of our Catholic traditions and refashioning them to connect with people’s spiritual needs in a more contemporary way… a way of the future. Ministries that Med started are still alive here and are too many to mention, but they continue to express the core of our creative Catholic spirit.
But, perhaps the one accomplishment and treasure that Med began, one that guides us and inspires us today, is the beautiful Cross of New Life. Med had a vision of a guiding, inspirational, unique piece of art that would become the brand of Holy Family. He searched art exhibits and artists from all over the country searching for a piece that would both express our spirit and guide our prayer in an inspiring way.
He finally found the artist, Ernest Caballero and formed a committee of dedicated parishioners to make this dream of his a reality. So, in typical Med fashion, a man who always thinks big, we have not only a beautiful and inspiring Cross of New Life that hovers above us, but it is the largest piece of acrylic art in the world.
I also mentioned last week the other celebrations that are imminent for us. We mark not only the Ascension this weekend, but the great commission of Jesus to the disciples to go and baptize all nations. Let’s thank God for many, such as Med, who have helped carry that commission out. Next weekend we celebrate Pentecost, the beginning of the church. Thanks, Med, for being so instrumental in beginning our Holy Family Catholic Community.
The Feasts of the Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ follow. Med’s 50 years of priestly ministry have been lived out in the mystery of the Trinity and the sacredness of the Eucharist.
Congratulations on your anniversary, Med! As Holy Family grows, so does our appreciation for your vision of church.
We also congratulate our 2019 graduating class of Holy Family Catholic Academy. They are the second largest graduating class in our history. We thank Kate O’Brien, Laura Clark and our entire Academy faculty and staff for their dedication in forming these students and sending them off to high school so well prepared.
Please join us for our second Mass of Rock next Sunday at 4:00pm.
Just a reminder: the 4:00pm Sunday Mass will be cancelled during the month of July.