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Lay Perspective: There’s something happening here, daily change in Year of Faith

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Greg  Hartman column

“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.”

Now that you may have the Buffalo Springfield song in your head, in a world where we see so much change daily, there’s something happening. This is the Year of Faith, of a New Evangelization, a new Holy Father. One thing was clear in this papal election: we were more electronically hooked up than ever before. We could share in an unimaginable joy. You could be anywhere and watch the smoke at the Vatican. A seagull became famous. Yet with all our electronics, we kept watch at a chimney. The shepherds kept watch, the magi watched a star, the disciples waited after they saw Jesus crucified. Most of us have had to wait and watch when a loved one goes into surgery, experiencing the emotions that prompt fear, anxiety, anticipation, melancholy. I don’t like waiting, yet how many times in our lives have we waited and something extraordinary occurred?

On that first Easter morning there had to be a sense that there’s something happening here. While we can read the Gospel passages about the Resurrection, it’s hard to really experience that. Imagine the joy of His Mother, Mary Magdalene, the disciples. Imagine sharing the news “He’s risen!” We get a sense of those moments in our lives when children are born, and when weddings and baptism occur, we know that God is at work. Yet if that joy was just shared among those early Christians, if they kept it to themselves, the joy would have died. God wants us to bask in His joy. It’s all about sharing. The church gives us that sense of sharing each and every time we attend Mass and when we witness the gifts of the bread and wine become the body and blood of our Lord.

On March 13, 2013, we witnessed a joy in that square that was immense. I hope you felt that when Pope Francis was announced. The excitement of a new pontiff, that incredible moment being called “The Pause,” where he asked for prayers and the world shared that wonderful silence (some say the silence heard around the world). That happens every day, and I’ve witnessed it.  People are praying for you at this moment, people you don’t even know. Drive by any church in the archdiocese and watch the daily Mass goers. They’ve discovered that indescribable joy and enter that silence and pray. There are groups in many parts of the archdiocese who meet and pray throughout the year. It’s all because of that wonderful Easter morning when Christ conquered death and they continue to share that joy.

If you’re reading this, and perhaps you haven’t attended church regularly, I urge you to come and share in the joy. Wouldn’t it be great if all of our problems would be swept away? They won’t be. However you may get a new wonderful perspective. You may acquire a joy you’ve never had before. A few weeks ago we read about the Prodigal Son in the Sunday Gospel and about the joy our Lord wants us to experience. In the parable we read that the father welcomed his lost son and how he shared that joy with everyone around him. In my journey of life there have been many joyous occasions. You want to bottle that and keep that joy forever. The journey takes various turns. The joy is always there for the asking. We were able to witness and share that joy in St. Peter’s Square: the white smoke, followed by the joyous proclamation “Habemus Papem!” God wants us to be happy. In communion with the Lord, there is no other joy. If you happen to be reading this and perhaps have been standing on the sidelines, jump in. Make your mark and be a part of this wonderful joyful parade. There’s something happening here. Be a part of. Be a part of that joy.

“When pain is share it is divided, when joy is shared it is multiplied.”

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Hartman is the circulation manager for The Catholic Telegraph

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