What are the chances … that on this pilgrimage to the World Meeting of Families 2015 and the papal visit, we would encounter the most joyful of “Psalms” in the Spirit-filled woman assigned to the housekeeping staff on our floor at the Wyndham? Yes, the woman who takes care of our room, and our every need, is named “Psalm.” Why? Because her mother was a very spiritual woman.
Today, Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Archbishop of Boston, preached the final WMOF2015 keynote. His closing prayer was: “Let us recommit ourselves to the mission of passing on the faith to generations to come. May we be as successful as those who have gone before us.” Like Psalm, many of us are the beneficiaries of Christian/biblical names and identities that were handed on to us by faith-filled parents and grandparents.
As Archbishop Charles Chaput made his closing remarks at the WMOF2015, he called on the 20,000 energized and enthusiastic participants to take this energy and enthusiasm home and “let it change your lives.” Only then, he said, will this time together have been a success. So true, so daunting!
A few hours later, Psalm stopped by our room to check on us. And I thought of what Cardinal O’Malley had said earlier: “We are on this earth with a mission to take care of each other.” Psalm’s mission for this week has been very clear: to take care of the needs of the pilgrim travelers on her floor of the Wyndham in this historic district of Philadelphia. She has done it with joy and grace, making a big city hotel feel like home away from home.
And isn’t that what each of us is called to do in our lives now? Each of us is called to go back home, wherever that is around the globe, to first take care of our own families, passing on the joy of the Gospel and God’s merciful, unconditional love. And then we have the task of living that simple mission in our parishes—to take care of one another so that Church IS home, a place where each one is encountered, cared for and loved. “Being in God’s family is to be a community of love,” said Cardinal O’Malley.
And so this weekend, whether you are in the vicinity of Pope Francis, caring for your family, or going to Church, start by offering a smile as joyful as Psalm’s.
Love is our mission!