Maronite Catholics, known and esteemed through the centuries for their hospitality and fidelity to the Gospel and Christian teaching and life, celebrated at Feast of St. Maron in San Antonio with a sacred liturgy at St. George Maronite Catholic Church Feb. 10. At the altar were Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, and Father Charles Khachan, MLM, pastor.
Archbishop Gustavo praised the Maronites, saying that through the centuries they and their ancestors have remained faithful to walking with the risen Lord as missionary disciples after the example of the Good Shepherd and St. Maron. “Many of your families left their homeland to go to such far-away places as Mexico and the United States — but keeping intact and alive your culture, your cuisine, and your Christian values and beliefs — passing them on to successive generations of Maronite Catholics,” he said. “You are truly a treasure to the universal church, East and West, North and South!”
The archbishop explained that the way of Christ — the way of the gospel — is countercultural to the ways of the world. The San Antonio prelate described how St. Maron was able to discern God’s presence everywhere without being distracted by such worldly enticements as possessions, power, and pleasure.
“Hearing the word of God and allowing it to take deep root in our lives enable us to produce good fruit for the building up of the kingdom of God, for contributing to the common good. God needs our ears to listen to the cries of the poor, the marginalized, the forgotten, the outcasts,” the Missionary of the Holy Spirit emphasized. “God needs our voice to proclaim his message of justice that leads to peace, of compassion and mercy, of God’s enduring love for everyone without exception. God needs our hands to reach out to those in need as Catholic Christians, missionary disciples, respecting and defending others’ rights — and enhancing and nourishing their lives.” Archbishop Gustavo concluded by praying: “May Our Lady of Lebanon watch over us and embrace us with her maternal love! May God bless St. George Parish