Villa la Paz Newsletter March 2014
Posted on March 1, 2014
Filed Under Villa La Paz Newsletters
Sacrament: something regarded as having a sacred character or mysterious meaning
Sacramental: of or relating to a sacrament; being or resembling a sacrament
Webster’s New World Dictionary Third College Edition
When God took on flesh in Jesus Christ, the uncreated and the created, the eternal and the temporal, the divine and the human became united. This unity meant that all that is mortal now points to the immortal, all that is finite points to the infinite. In and through Jesus all creation has become like a splendid veil, through which the face of God is revealed to us. This is called the sacramental quality of the created order. All that is is sacred because all that is speaks of God’s redeeming love. Seas winds, mountains and trees, sun, moon, and stars, and all the animals and people have become sacred windows offering us glimpses of God.
All the World is an utterance of the Almighty. Its countless beauties, its exquisite adaptations all speak to you of Him.
A sacrament is a visible sign of an invisible reality and thus all of creation is sacramental since all of creation speaks of its Divine Creator. It is easy to experience the presence of God in a gorgeous sunset or in the night sky strewn with stars and a brilliant moon. However, do we experience His presence in the poor, the vulnerable, the broken, and the homeless for surely He is more present in them through His indwelling Spirit than in inanimate created objects. Those who are poor, broken and suffer are the visible signs of His invisible presence and as such we must see Him and serve Him through them. How can we be sure of the presence of God in those we come into contact with? He has told us very clearly, “What you do to the least of these my little ones, you do to me.” His preference for the poor, the homeless, the sick was more than evident during his earthly existence. The blind, the lame and the lepers where shunned and despised in the Jewish culture and yet, He sought them out, loved them and healed them. What His contemporaries considered trash He considered treasures. His choosing to be born and live in poverty also emphasizes his preference for the lowly and forgotten. He did not seek the praise and admiration of men but only their love and compassion for one another. How different this world would be if the teaching and example of His earthly life were embraced and lived by all men. There would be an end to poverty, an end to wars, an end to hatred. Is such an existence possible? Yes, but only if we banish from our lives pride, arrogance and the rampant individualism that is so prevalent in our world.
And what of the children? Surely they are the maximum exponent of the presence of God in creation. God entered His creation as a child. He continually made reference to the fact that if we do not become as little children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven and specifically said that he who welcomes children welcomes Him.
The children on these pages are our sacramentals. They are vulnerable and totally dependent on us as God was vulnerable and totally dependent during His earthly existence. Their unconditional love mirrors His. Their fortitude and will to overcome their handicaps inspire us and encourage us to continue on our journey.
I increasingly believe that the handicapped are God’s gift to us, to act as a catalyst to produce and provoke love in hearts that are sometimes hard and cold.
For Jesus, the poor are sacraments, because they offer a direct way to encounter God. The poor, broken and rejected, are portals through which we can enter fully into the life of Christ.
Gerard Thomas Straub
We thank you for making the care of our children possible. We love you and wish you God’s peace.