Go Make a Difference should be a recessional song after every Mass as we leave our places of worship and enter back into the world. The lyrics written by Steve Angrisano and Tom Tomaszek set one on fire and it arms one’s heart with simple truth. Just read these lyrics from the first verse and see for yourself. . .
We are the salt of the earth, called to let the people see. . . the love of God in you and me.
We are the light of the world, not to be hidden, but be seen.
Go make a difference in the world!
And so it was for 34 people gathered together in my living room on a hot summer’s night. We had just finished Mass and our thanksgiving in receiving Jesus in the Eucharist was palpable. It was even more so when we started to belt out this song together. The air conditioner was running in the room but we were running on our own electricity. We could have lit up all of Manhattan with the love that was flowing out from within us. But I am getting away from myself in retelling this story and so I must go back a little bit to explain how this all happened. I guess I might use the phrase of “unpacking my suitcase!”
I have been “unpacking” the story for you of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visiting my home during the summer of 2018. The statue stayed from June 28th for six weeks and then came back August 30th for an additional two weeks. It was quite a memorable stay. As I have mentioned, there were beautiful healings and sharings that transpired within the walls of my living room during these visits.
Whenever our dear heavenly “Mama” comes to visit our hearts and homes, she never comes alone. One can say that her plan is always, always to bring her Son. Her visit here would not be any different. As time went on, she seemed to make it clear that her desire was to bring her Son to all those who had visited her here during the course of this special stay. So what could that possibly mean? It seemed that she was asking for the celebration of the Holy Mass! Who can deny “Mama?” Certainly not I!!! So I went to speak to my spiritual director about it.
Msgr. Michael was all for it! So much so that he said “invite everyone!” I was taken aback by that answer for how would I fit all those people into my living room at one time! “Invite them and don’t put a limit on the invitation!” “Yikes!” was my humble reply! I followed his direction and the email went out to all those who had come to visit.
When the evening arrived and the count was taken there were exactly “33” people present and one special priest presiding at the altar. The preparation before was very challenging as to how furniture would be moved and how all the folding chairs would be placed but somehow “Mama” helped and directed me in the placement of the seating.
In fact, as I unloaded my trunk with 16 folding chairs at 2:00 pm on a hot afternoon, I heard “Ave Maria” being played on the church bells of my parish Church blocks away. I knew that this was a special sign from her that she was very happy and indeed had wanted this Holy Mass to be celebrated.
As people arrived, the joy increased as each person met a new friend or an old one. When Msgr. Michael entered into the living room, he personally went to each person present and shook their hand introducing himself. The miraculous was beginning to unfold before our very eyes. We were seeing the “face of God” in each other and the Mass hadn’t even begun yet!
Not only did the Pilgrim Statue return here for the Mass but another statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that I had ordered also arrived before its delivery date of mid-October. That alone was a miracle. So, the plan was to “enthrone“ the Immaculate Heart of Mary in my home. My featured image above shows the holy water bottle present on the altar and the statue being blessed by Msgr. Michael after the Mass. In fact, he blessed each and every person present as well as the walls and the ceilings! He got a little carried away but he was feeling the “electricity” as well!
The scripture reading for the gospel on August 31st was taken from Matthew 25:1-13, The Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids.
We all know about those “drowsy” bridesmaids who fell asleep and did not have enough oil:
“The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him!”
Can you imagine the dismay and the startled looks on the bridesmaids who were not prepared! I think there is not one of us who hasn’t thought to themselves, “why didn’t the other five share? How selfish!” Yet, that evening, we were given another thought to ponder as to why the oil wasn’t shared. “Some things cannot be shared,” Msgr. Michael stated.
In backing up those words, he gave us a concrete example to ponder. In his homily, Msgr. Michael told us about a black belt karate expert. What if this expert shared his black belt with another? The person who would receive this black belt would, in fact, only be receiving a black belt. It would not come with all the training, discipline, hard work and time that the karate expert had invested into receiving this great accomplishment and honor. This example is similar to the five bridesmaids who were drowsy. They had not worked hard in staying awake so how could they just receive the oil to trim their lamps?
Msgr. Michael’s homily and teaching that evening intensified our desire to work harder as Catholics, to understand better, to love and to serve our Church with more zeal and fervor. But most of all as we closed with the song “Go Make a Difference,” we knew that our lamps were lit, shining brightly as the candle next to Msgr. Michael’s image above. We were on fire with the Love of the Lord!
We are the hands of Christ, reaching out to those in need. . .
The face of God for all to see. . .
We are the spirit of hope, we are the voice of peace. . .
Go make a difference in the world!
Here is part of the living room where 33 people plus Msgr. Michael were gathered together in love! And there on the mantle is the “Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima” overlooking the seating arrangement with great approval! Her desire was realized, her Jesus was brought to 33 souls who would then go out into the world and “make a difference!”
“Making a Difference”
will make for many
A Very Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving to All!
©2018 Anita Guariglia
Photo credits/Mary Ellen Fosso & Anita Guariglia
Youtube: “Go Make a Difference”/Steve Angrisano & Tom Tomaszek