by Jason Lillis
Family Life Coordinator

It’s election day as I write this for our bulletin deadline, and it’s nowhere near the time when the polls will close and new political leaders are determined. All the time and money that has been put into campaigns and speculation about those campaigns is coming to a close, and I can’t help but reflect on the presence of anxiety in our society, in our families, and in our own persons. I’ve been thinking more lately that Jesus’ ministry is so frequently about addressing these anxieties. He giving us a perspective or lens through which we can best understand what it means to live with these anxieties when they can’t be avoided.

This often means looking at the world around me and those I encounters through the particular lens of today’s gospel and what it means to be elected, as each of us – responding in love to Christ through our Baptism – are called by God to be witnesses to the world. What signs have I seen today of God’s presence and action in the world? Where is the Good News of the Gospel most manifest for our community? Am I sharing this with those who are seeking more than polling data?

For me, this is most evident when I talk to parents who are brimming with joy (through sleep deprived eyes, to be sure) as they prepare for the baptism of their children. When they are asked during a Baptism preparation class, “What are the hopes and dreams you have for your child?”, their responses are of joy and promise. They are stating a firm “Yes!” to be their children’s first and best teachers of the faith, to help them grow as the elect, so that when these signs Jesus speaks of occur in our sky and on earth, their children will be the wise ones who, in Daniel’s words from the Old Testament, “shine brightly like the splendor of the firmament, / and those who lead the many to justice / [they] shall be like the stars forever.”

I invite you to go greet these families and congratulate them on the baptism of their children when you see them during Mass. I invite you to speak with them during their preparation for Baptism, when they are learning what we as a church community believe about being the elect of Christ. And I invite you, most of all, to know the peace of Christ in the midst of an anxious world.