Grace, Coast to Coast

(photo: Register Files)

It was a diverse crowd of believers, who seemed to share both a love for the Holy Father and a love for St. Junipero Serra. Everyone was watching the beautiful Mass on the big screen, although it felt as though we were directly participating in the holy Mass, as the grace flowed through the Great Stone Church that day.  

The faithful rose and sat, as those in Washington did. At the sign of peace, we offered a peaceful greeting to those next to us and all stood and joined in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

“Rejoice in the Lord always! I say it again, rejoice!” 

These were the words that the Holy Father used to begin the homily of his first Mass in the United States. They represent St. Paul’s exhortation to the Church to live a life that is embodied with a spirit that is quick to rejoice. 

It was with a joyful spirit that the Holy Father presided over the Junipero Serra canonization Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, on the East Coast.  As the beautiful Mass was unfolding in our nation’s capital, a concurrent celebration was taking place on the West Coast at Mission San Juan Capistrano.  I had the good fortune of being in L.A. on business and experienced the canonization Mass on an outdoor big screen within the Great Stone Church at Mission San Juan Capistrano.

Father Junipero Serra (1713-1784) was founder of the first nine of the 21 California missions, including Mission San Juan Capistrano in 1776. 

A man of uncompromised optimism and zeal, Father Serra played a significant role in establishing the mission system and laying a foundation for what would become the state of California.

Grace was the impetus behind St. Serra’s zeal, St. Paul’s exhortation to rejoice and the Holy Father’s expressive joy for the realization of the Gospel within our current world.   

This transformative grace is infectious and spreads like an outbreak when released into a world that is starving for an authentic release of the fruits of the spirit — through grace.

The grace was flowing at Mission San Juan Capistrano amongst those in attendance of the canonization Mass simulcast. I was amazed at the reverence that was expressed by the faithful in attendance, and it was truly a moving experience. 

I was struck by the joy of those who were there, watching our beloved Holy Father offer Mass within our home country; a joy coming from the celebration of the canonization of the beloved founder of Mission San Juan Capistrano; a joy coming from the fellowship of sharing these historic moments with some fellow Christians, whom were fortunate to be at this holy place in southern California. 

This joy is a fruit of the presence of the grace that the Lord has bestowed upon us through this tremendous visit of the Vicar of Christ to our country. 

Grace has no boundaries to constrain it and has the power to truly transform our world. 

Let us pray that we will be open to the outpouring of grace that Our Lord offers us each and every day. Let’s allow the joy of the Lord that we have experienced through this encounter of the Holy Father in the United States be our strength to sustain us each and every day within the struggles of life. 

I pray that this opportunity of grace will lighten your load and bear the fruit of joy within your heart, as well as those nearest and dearest to you. 

Viva il Papa!

Thank you for sharing the joy of family life with us in America!