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​Archbishop tells students to make the splendor of the Lord’s Kingdom known

December 03, 2019 | posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio

Topics: Catholic Schools, Hope for the Future

Archbishop tells students to make the splendor of the Lord’s Kingdom known

The statue and relic of St. José Sánchez del Río were at the school named in his honor for an October 18 liturgy with Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS. While the relic of “San Joselito” will be returned to Mexico, the sculpture will be on permanent display at the school’s lobby.

The archbishop began his homily by quoting from the Gospel of Luke, whose feast day as being observed: “Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.”

“Wow. What a statement. Think of Jesus saying this to you. ‘I am sending you like lambs among wolves,” Archbishop Gustavo said, quoting again from the reading, adding, “It seems very intense, almost cruel. But we know that the Lord is not cruel.”

“So why did he say it?” he asked, following up with a look at the saints being celebrated that day, St. Luke and St. Paul, whose letter to Timothy was the first reading at the Mass. Both lived difficult lives. They were rejected, mocked, and beaten. They were thrown in prison, and they were persecuted. But through the church received the majority of the New Testament: The Gospel of Luke, the Acts of the Apostles, and all of Paul’s letters.

In the day’s Scriptures, they proclaimed that “the Kingdom of God is at hand!” Paul died by the sword, and it is tradition that St. Luke was also martyred.

“But they gave their life for the love of God. They faced the wolves because they loved the Lord,” the archbishop explained.

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit then told the youth the story of St. José Sánchez del Río. This young disciple of Christ. came to know the Lord through the ministry of a priest, and he fell in love with Jesus. He wanted nothing more than to share the Gospel of the love of Christ the King. Though only 14, José longed to join the movement against persecution of the Church that was happening in in México in the early part of the last century. He was eventually allowed to join the resistance as a flag bearer. He was captured and was tortured in order to make him give up his faith and speak against Jesus.

“But he would not do it,” Archbishop Gustavo emphasized. “This young man, who was a young person just like you, dear students, he would not reject the faith. His love of Jesus was his reason for being.” The archbishop then gave a shout “Viva Cristo Rey!” and attendees loudly responded in kind.

The San Antonio prelate stressed to listeners that they are sent as well as lambs among wolves, just like these heroes of faith. Here in the United States, we are not suffering such persecutions, he acknowledged, but we are nevertheless mocked for loving Jesus. “We are mocked by those who do not profess Jesus as the King. We are also mocked by those who say they have faith, but really are just following worldly or political ideals.”

My friends, he said, looking intently over the rows of students, be the ones who will show your fellow young people the love of God. “It does not matter that they do not understand. It does not matter if they are mean to us,” he highlighted. We know that God loves us. We know that we love each other in the Church. We have the GOOD NEWS!”

“Isn’t that amazing?” the archbishop smiled. “We are sent out to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Right now! Jesus is calling people to love him and to love each other.”

He read the words of Pope Francis, who wrote in a recent exhortation: “Filled with the love of Christ, young people are called to be witnesses of the Gospel wherever they find themselves, by the way they live” (Christus Vivit).

“The Lord wants your help in sharing his Good News. The Holy Spirit is within you to help you answer with joy!” Archbishop Gustavo concluded. “It is true that the world has many wolves, and that is scary. But the Lord tells you: ‘I chose you from the world, to go and bear fruit that will last.’ May we answer him! We are your friends!”

At the conclusion of the service, the student sang their new school song for the archbishop, waving red pom poms in time with the lyrics.