Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More thoughts on Ghana: Daily Mass Homily--Thursday, January 16th, 2014 (at Woodland Gardens)

           Having arrived home safely after an amazing trip to Ghana, my heart is filled with gratitude.  Thank you for the prayers and financial contributions you offered—they sure paid off.
            I would like to share two main graces I received while in Ghana.  First, I was reminded of the universality of the Mass.  Today we gather for a relatively simple Liturgy—yet it is the same Liturgy being celebrated around the world.  While in Ghana the Masses on Sundays and New Year’s eve/day were between two and a half to three and a half hours.  And it was amazing!  The jubilation, song, dance, clapping and reverence were truly awesome.  We also had Mass in the Bishop’s chapel, in our hotel patio and even in an airport.  The same Mass.
            The greatest experience for me was the honor to preside at an outdoor Mass in the countryside.  This was the first celebration of the Eucharist ever in this particular place.  It felt very apostolic…claiming new land for Jesus.  After this Mass we began to build a chapel that, please God, will have the Liturgy for years to come.
            Second, while the people there are poor materially they are rich spiritually.  We came to serve their human needs by bringing a bunch of suitcases of books, school, church and medical supplies, toys and balls.  Through the generosity of our benefactors we sent over $15,000 to the priests and to fund the refurbishment of a Marian shrine, water purification project to provide clean drinking water for an entire community and the chapel I just mentioned.  Most appreciated by the Ghanaians was that we brought ourselves.
            Their hospitality was inspiring.  They gave us welcomes everywhere we went—once with a brass band.  We were received into homes and along the way random people gave us a goat, chicken, rooster and guinea hen (like a small turkey) to eat.  They sacrificed meals for us to show us their hospitality.
            Again, thanks for all you did to help make this trip possible.  I pray that the graces from this trip will continue to bear fruit in Ghana, and back home as well.

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