Feast Day of Saint Josemaria in Calgary (Canada) – Christ is your Model
June 30, 2011
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Rev. David Sands together with Rev. Wilbert Chin Jon celebrated the Holy Mass in honor of St. Josemaria Escriva on June 25 at St. Bonaventure Church.
During his homily, Fr. Sands shared with the faithful his thoughts, feelings and experiences he has during the special moments he spent in the presence of St. Josemaria.
Blessed Pope John Paul II referred to St. Josemaria as saint of the ordinary . This is very appropriate description of St. Josemaria who for many years constantly preached that we are all called to holiness. A great number of us are called to holiness not by doing something extraordinary but by doing extremely well, for the love of God, our daily work, our daily obligations in the ordinary circumstances of our life. Holiness is perfection of love, charity. Holiness is the striving to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
St. Josemaria is also the first witness of his preaching and he was very ordinary. In fact the get together of Opus Dei members is very simple, very relaxed and straight forward, without any special ceremony, nothing excessively pious says Father Sands.
Fatherliness and Holiness
Fatherliness and Holiness, these are two points about St. Josemaria that struck me in particular.
Fatherliness: It is difficult to describe exactly what I mean by his fatherliness, except that when I was in his presence whether or not we are in a get together with several men or several hundred men or in a few occasion when I was alone with St. Josemaria, I felt the same joy that I felt when I was 4 or 5 years old with my father coming home, picking me up and giving me a hug. It is the same sensation, the same feeling, the same love that radiates from St. Josemaria, no wonder that in Opus Dei we simply call him father.
It is not possible to be in the same room with St. Josemaria without wanting immediately to be holy. Just to be with him in the room, your heart is automatically elevated to think about God and trying to connect with God. When somebody is holy, it radiates. St. Josemaria tried to play down these things as much as possible. From to time, during our get together someone will ask him “Father, what will we do to imitate you for your love of God. . .’ To this, he will simply reply: “I am not a model of anything. Your goal is not to become like me. Christ is your model. Your goal is to become another Christ, Christ himself. If you want to imitate me, imitate my love for our Blessed Mother. I think I am the man who knows how to love our Lady.. . .” St. Josemaria has enormous devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The intercession of St. Josemaria
There are enormous stories of favors and graces received through the intercession of St. Josemaria. I commend that you seek his intercession. Ask him to help you to come to understand the reality that we can and that we should be striving for that holiness in the midst of ordinary life. Like St. Josemaria, go constantly to our Blessed Mother to obtain for us the grace that we need to follow the path to holiness.
Continued festivities followed by potluck lunch at the parish hall.