Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Special greetings to all birthday celebrants in November, 2018. Birthdays can still be exciting to celebrate even after having reached the age when most people would spend quiet time rather than have a party. Birthdays will always be beautiful when we appreciate the gift of life from God through our parents.
It is only proper to express our gratitude to our Creator and our parents for bringing us into this beautiful world. As I reflect on my birthday this month, may I share my parents’ Mass wedding day blessing prayed by the celebrating priest:
…May your abundant blessing, Lord,
come down upon this bride, +,
and upon +, her companion for life,
and may the power of your Holy Spirit
set their hearts aflame from on high,
so that, living out together the gift of Matrimony,
they may (adorn their family with children and) enrich the Church.
In happiness may they praise you, O Lord,
in sorrow may they seek you out;
may they have the joy of your presence
to assist them in their toil,
and know that you are near
to comfort them in their need;
let them pray to you in the holy assembly
and bear witness to you in the world,
and after a happy old age,
together with the circle of friends that surrounds them,
may they come to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
They were childless for about seven years and persevering in prayer and novenas for St Anthony of Padua’s intercession, God finally answered their petitions. They were blessed with their first boy, who was later on followed by one daughter and three more boys.
Yes, birthdays always be happily celebrated with the eyes of faith open to the Eternal Creator. Our birthday into eternal life will be joyful when we finally join our loved ones who have gone before us. The joy of loving God and being loved by God will be without end. I am forever grateful to God, Pa and Ma for the gift of life and to Our Lord Jesus Christ for the gift of True Life.
May your deceased friends and loved ones find peace and joy in God’s presence forever! All Souls rejoice!
Fr. Andrew M. Verdote, ofm