A welcoming and accessible community for all those with special needs

In sharing faith and life with one another and recognizing the needs of people with special needs, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, celebrated a Mass for persons with special needs March 31 at St. Mark the Evangelist Church.

The archbishop told attendees that he was both honored and humbled to be with them. “I am honored, because you are among God’s chosen ones! You have special gifts and special needs, and for you and your families God has special blessings,” he began. “I am humbled because you give more to me than I can ever give to you! You give to me the face of Christ!

Archbishop Gustavo then explained the Gospel reading at the liturgy, the story of the prodigal son. This son thought he did not need his father or his family. He went away from them. He was too proud and too stubborn in his heart. But when times got difficult he remembered his father, his family, and the house where grew up. He felt badly because he had run away from them. He longed to see them again, and to be with them face to face.

“This is the moment when the young man ‘wakes up,’ and realizes that he needs his father once again!” the archbishop exclaimed.

And so, the young man began his the journey home with a few steps. But long before he gets home his father sees him, and runs to him, and kisses him, and embraces him.

“How much the father wanted to see the face of his son once more! How powerful is this moment!” Archbishop Gustavo continued.

 The father ordered that a beautiful garment be placed over the son’s shoulders, and that rings be put on his fingers and shoes on his feet.

“The father was so happy to see the face of his son once more that he give back to his son all the dignity he had lost by running away!” the Missionary of the Holy Spirit concluded.

The San Antonio prelate told his friends, “I long to see the face of Christ! I need to see the face of Christ! And to me, you are the face of Christ! So thank you, thank you, thank you! Just as the father threw a big party for his son, so I feel a spirit of joy and happiness in my heart by being with you today!”

The archbishop quoted St. Paul, who stated that whoever is in Christ is a new creation. “Brothers and sisters, you are a new creation for me!” he smiled. “May God continue blessing you and working through you to show his face to many, many people.”

The Order of Alhambra, an organization whose mission includes assisting those with special needs, hosted a reception following the liturgy.

Photos by: Veronica Markland for Today’s Catholic Newspaper

This article will appear in the April 12 edition of Today’s Catholic Newspaper. #iamTodaysCatholic #TodaysCatholicMedia

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