|2. Note from Father Roberts
When I was a fourth grader at All Saints Elementary School in Logansport sleepovers were one of the most important means of socializing in my small parochial school. I think my grade had around twenty-five kids in it and only eight boys, one of which I did not much like. I spent several weeks working on my parents to let me host the boys in my class for an overnight at my family's house. When I finally got permission to have the sleepover, I decided to exclude the boy I didn't like from the list of those invited.
A week before the event my mother and I were talking as she was driving me home from school, going over the details of how the eighteen hours would unfold. I was very excited as I talked about all of the fun activities that would be possible on the five acres on which we lived.
"Tell me again who will be coming," she said.
I recited a list of six names.
"Wait a second now. I thought that there were seven other boys in your class ..."
I scrambled to justify my course of action. "I really don't get along with Johnny (he had a different name), so I decided not to invite him." I calmly went on to detail some of the history between the two of us and was quite satisfied that I had made my case very well for excluding him. "Besides," I concluded, "he probably wouldn't come if I invited him anyway."
I fully expected my mother to endorse my decision.
Instead of approval I got a short but forceful lecture on what it meant to be a Christian and how we are called as followers of Jesus to love everyone, even those who we don't like. All of the boys in my class would be invited.
What my mother did hardly seems like a big thing, but the ripples of this conversation in my life have been considerable. Throughout middle school and high school, the memory of this conversation was often a spur to reach out to those who didn't quite seem to fit in on sports teams, clubs or in class. When I was in college and in seminary the desire to be able to reach out to the marginalized was one of the reasons why I made sure that I would be fluent in Spanish when I was ordained. Today in my priestly ministry I spend most Sunday afternoons celebrating Mass and hearing confessions in Spanish, serving those who live on the margins of our society, and sometimes even their own parishes.
We never know what good can come out of one little conversation.
3. Family Activity
Discuss how you can use your talents and treasures in your daily life! Find simple things in your daily life - helping someone at school or the grocery store. You never know when your simple kind word or gesture will be the highlight of someone's day! Step out of the box a little and see what your family can do to help someone in need.
4. Songs for downloading
My own little world - Matthew West, Download it
I can only imagine - Mercy Me, Download it
Selecting to download will redirect you to an iTunes preview page for the song.