Last month, the Office of Cultural Diversity's African-American Commission brought in the well-known national speaker Father Tony Ricard from New Orleans. He is a tremendous storyteller as well as a comedian. He had the assembly roaring in laughter at times. His message was challenging and spiritually uplifting. It was an awesome three nights.
The theme of the Revival was, "Shut Up and Just Listen: Jesus has Something to Say."
The first night, he challenged us to shut off our cellphones, Xboxes and televisions that are constantly bombarding us. Once we do this, we need to just shut up and listen to what Jesus has to say. It is important for us to listen, because the message that the Lord has for me, and for others, can change our lives forever. It is possible that we may miss the message. He gave examples of people in the Bible who did 'just listen,' and their lives changed forever. Father Ricard also gave examples of people who didn't listen and what it cost them. For example, Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.
Another example he shared about those that listen was that of Mary at the Annunciation, when the angel came and announced that she was bearing a child. What if she hadn't listened? What would have happened? Father Ricard said she tried not to listen when she responded by saying, "How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?" Luke 1:34. If she didn't listen, she would not have brought Jesus into the world. The same thing can happen to us. If we listen, we could be the bearers of Jesus to others who are in need in the world. God can do some phenomenal things with us if we just listen.
Throughout the Bible, we have read about angels that were sent to bring messages from God to people. Could it be that we were too busy to hear the message sent to us, and we didn't notice that God was speaking to us? It could be that we heard it, but unlike Mary, we said no. Angels serve God and they bring messages from God to earth. I really believe that God sent me not one angel, but many angels, during my breast cancer journey. I was so blessed by angels that constantly brought messages of love, compassion and caring. They were messages from complete strangers that uplifted me and showed me how much God loves me and that everything was going to be okay. I thank God for them, and I realized that I can't give up.
National Black Catholic History Month
Retreat: Living out our Faith in the Universal Church: Nov. 5, from 6-9 p.m. at St. Martin de Porres Church, Buffalo. Guest speaker: Father Cornelius Kelechi Ejiogu, SSJ, from the Archdiocese of Washington. D.C.
African Thanksgiving Bazaar: St. Martin De Porres Church. at 9:30 a.m. - Mass with Bishop Richard J. Malone, Th.D. and homilist Father Cornelius Kelechi Ejiogu, SSJ. The Mass will be followed by a bazaar, theme baskets, auction and taste of various African foods.