Today the Church of St. Boniface will be celebrating their 150 Anniversary. The invitations have been sent and the reservations have been received. The dinner and the fixins have been prepared. The flowers and decorations are in place and the music has been practiced. The Bishop will be celebrating the Mass for the faithful people of the Waumandee Valley today. What a fine day this is going to be. This is a day to remember that as early as 1858 Mass was celebrated in homes and in the fields across our Buffalo County.
This is a day to remember the German and Irish families who in great faith erected a church in Waumandee and became a mission of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Fountain City. This is the day to remember that on September 1, 1867 Bishop Henri raised the mission to the status of parish. 150 years of joy and sorrow, sacrifice and devotion and for this we rejoice.
I always have mixed feelings about these celebrations. Every Sunday should be a celebration. Our churches should be standing room only. Not just today. These families sacrificed for their faith. Their faith and their church was their life. Can you say the same?
Oh I know, "I can pray anywhere", or "I don't like the priest", or "the time just doesn't fit my schedule", or "I am happy just knowing that the church is there when I need it". But is God happy? How do these excuses make Him feel?
In the Gospel today Jesus presented to us another parable, just before He entered Jerusalem for the last time. The crowds were about to spread palms in front of Him. Shortly thereafter He would go up on the Mount of Olives, there to weep and cry out in pain when He looked out over Jerusalem and cried: "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you refused?" Then they crucified him.
We don't like to admit it, but many times we reject God. Oh, we deny that… but in fact we do. How many times has there been when we just couldn't be bothered by God. How many people act as if God simply doesn't matter? How many times does His still, inner voice call us to do something and we refuse to listen to His whispering voice within us? Oh, yes we clean the church, but is that really what God wants from us? God is asking us to seek him in all things. God is asking us to be nourished with His Body and Blood.
God is asking us to fully participate in the Community of Believers. God is asking us to repent and confess our faults and accept His forgiveness. He really doesn't ask for very much now does he?
Let us embrace Jesus in His Church the way the founding Fathers and Mothers of St. Boniface embraced Him 150 years ago. Let us make Christ the center of our lives and then we will see our parishes' blossom and grow.BACK TO LIST