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Father Muench Says...

Reflecting love with our lives

Sept. 27, 2023

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Recently, I presided over the wedding ceremony of my great niece, Mary, and her now husband, Eric. This was the first wedding ceremony I had in ages, so I was a little anxious about what to say in the homily. Mary and I have been great friends over the years. I was one of her babysitters years ago when she was an infant. But I didn’t intend to use those stories in this homily.

The first thing that I thought of was something I have often used in talks – that is “listen.” I like to encourage people to be good listeners. We are so busy that we miss so much of what is happening around us. I even encourage people to listen each day to the Lord’s messages to us.

Well, in a curious way these thoughts led me to remember a song, a song that would add something to my homily. It’s a song from “My Fair Lady.” Eliza is singing to Freddy.

“Words, words, words! I’m so sick of words! I get words all day through; first from him; now from you. Is that all you blighters can do? Don’t talk of stars burning above; If you’re in love, show me! Tell me no dreams filled with desire – If you’re on fire, show me!”

Yes, the wedding ceremony has lots of words. The words mean nothing if a couple, like Mary and Eric, don’t truly demonstrate and live in their love. The world should be able to see in all that they do and say that they are truly in love. Show us. And I am certain you will agree with me that it is about all those little things. It is all about all those wonderful things that truly demonstrate care and concern, true love for each other. I am certain that you could tell me so many of those little but important things that show true love.

Now as I think about this: I believe I can imagine our God singing this same song about his people, about you and me. We, Catholics, have lots of prayers with many good words.

However, I can imagine the Lord looking down on us and singing “Show me.” What did you do today that truly demonstrates how much you love God, how much you love your neighbor as Jesus taught us. Again, it is about those important little things that truly demonstrate love and make our lives better, those little things can make our world a better place.

Let me give you an example: I remember a Sunday Gospel message that challenged us to be a forgiving people. God loves us and has blessed us in so many wonderful ways. Our God continues to forgive us over and over again. Jesus is our perfect model and teacher. On the cross Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them they do not know what they are doing.” In the same way Jesus forgives us. And we are called upon to be forgiving as the Lord teaches us.

Prayer is important for us as Catholics. Prayer builds up our friendship and relationship with the Lord Jesus. I am certain that the Lord constantly urges us to reflect our prayers in the way we live our Christian life. The Lord teaches us that others should be able to recognize in the way we live and love as disciples of the Lord. Our lives demonstrate that we are true Christians.

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