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I​nvolvement of persons with special needs enriches every aspect of Church life

December 03, 2019 | posted by Archdiocese of San Antonio

Topics: Archbishops Appeal, In the Press

Involvement of persons with special needs enriches every aspect of Church life

Sharing faith and life with one another and recognizing the abilities of people with special needs, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, celebrated a Mass for persons with special needs at Prince of Peace Parish on Sept. 29.

The church was filled to capacity for the liturgy, and the archbishop began his homily by asking the honored guests and the families to stand so they could receive applause from the faithful attending the service.

“It is a very intense story in the Gospel today, isn’t it?” Archbishop Gustavo then asked listeners, referring to the reading from Luke 16:19-31. It includes a very powerful image of a rich man stuck on one side of the void and Lazarus with Jesus on the other side.

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit stressed that it is a striking thing to think about, but there are some very important messages to take from it.

The first is that Jesus looks out for those in need. Lazarus struggled with poverty; that was his burden, and everyone has their own burdens that they carry and struggle with. “Some of you, dear brothers and sisters, have crosses that are heavier than most. You live your days with needs that many people cannot even understand. But that means you are loved by Jesus in a special way,” the archbishop explained. “Just like He drew near to Lazarus and walked with Him to new life, He is close to you and going with you along your path in life. He wants to be near you and bring you along with Him. This is a beautiful blessing and we thank God for it.”

But there is also have the warning of the rich man. He did not understand what a blessing he had in Lazarus. He had an opportunity to walk with his brother in Christ. He had an opportunity to serve someone in need. He had an opportunity to learn from Lazarus -- because Lazarus saw the world differently from his perspective. The rich man denied himself all these blessings, because he did not recognize Lazarus for who he was, a beloved child of God and fellow brother, emphasized the San Antonio prelate.

“To all of you who care for our friends with special needs in life, you know what a blessing it can be. There are always difficulties when we walk the path of the Lord, but we can rejoice today in the blessing of our sisters and brothers,” he encouraged listeners.

Archbishop Gustavo gave thanks to God for those gathered together. “May He guide us in his will, and may we be there for each other always,” he expressed in hope. “We belong to Him who has risen from the dead, and He will always be with us, bringing us with Him to newness of life.”