"Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."
I grew up as one of six siblings, and often my brothers and sister and I would ask our parents, "Why can't we be like that family? They have this, they have that. Why can't we be like them?" And my parents would always answer, "Because we're different."
I remember once there was a yo-yo fad at our Catholic school. I was sure that all the other boys and girls had yo-yos. And my brothers and sister and I did not. We kept after our mother constantly, begging her to get us yo-yos so we could be just like the other boys and girls. Well, by the time our mother finally got to the store and bought us yo-yos, the fad was over.
Now, I am sure there was a practical side to my parents' well-worn resistance to fads. They would have financially ruined themselves running out to the store to keep us supplied with whatever was the latest accoutrement that the advertising world had convinced society was the latest and greatest toy or clothing. I remember the platform shoe craze also. I thank the Lord that I did not have any desire to wear platform shoes!
I learned that fads come and go. And even though it was difficult to hear it and to live it, I got used to the idea that me and my family were "different". And that came in very handy when it came to living the Catholic Faith.
As in my world as a young person, there are unfortunately also fads in the Church that come and go. And there are some realities, like the Eucharist, that will remain until the end of the world. I thank the Lord that He blessed me with two of the very best parents a boy could ask for in this world who both resisted the fads and taught me to live and love the things that last.
Fads like certain styles of music, or certain options for celebrating the Mass, come and go and these unfortunately can cause divisions in parish life. Divisions are very painful and call for the healing that only God can bring. Good "Fathers" help us to celebrate, believe in and gather in unity around the things that last, including the Eucharist, the presence of Jesus Christ around Whom we gather and who brings us into the unity of divine Love as we worship Him together.
"Brothers and sisters:
I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith..."
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.
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