I am Father Gasper Genuardi, known to many as Fr. Gappy. I am honored to be appointed the spiritual director of the English speaking Cursillo in Philadelphia.
Many years ago, I made my Cursillo Weekend. Cursillo profoundly impacted me and it is one of the reasons I am still a priest today. I met my friend, Jesus, there and my life has never been the same.
Do you remember your cursillo? Do you remember the moment you heard the message and accepted the invitation to be a living witness to the love of Jesus? How are you affecting your environment today; at home, at the office, especially at the parish?
The Cursillo method comes to us through our fourth day and helps us to answer those questions. It helps us to live our Christian calling to be ‘gospel’ in our environments. My life as a cursillista has been filled with making friends, being a friend, and bringing those friends to Jesus. My environments have been in my family, and in the 14 parishes I have served. I can go into almost any parish and say, ‘De Colores,’ and find a lector, an usher, or at least someone who has made a cursillo.
As Christian leaders we must look for opportunities to share Jesus’ message of love with others. Although we live life among the hustle and bustle of fast paced technologies and information, cursillo slows us and connects us to one another in its basic method of sharing our prayer, study and action.
Our Holy Father Francis is a beautiful example for a cursillo- fostering prayer, witnessing Jesus’ love and compassion, proclaiming our Catholic faith, and evangelizing those we meet each day.
I ask you to continue to be gospel. Do great little things well for Jesus, wherever you are planted. For our cursillo movement to flourish, we still need you to say yes to work a weekend. We need you to make palanca every day with your prayers and sacrifices. And we need you to reach out to make friends, be a friend, and bring that friend to Jesus. “Christ has no body now but yours.” Please pray for the upcoming weekends, for the team and for the candidates.
I close with a prayer by a very young old person.
Lord, now that I am growing old, keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s lives. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details: give me wings to get to the point. Seal my lips on my aches and pains. They are increasing, and the love of rehearsing them is growing sweeter as the years go by. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet: a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil. Give me the ability to see beauty in unexpected places and splendor in unexpected people. Amen.
If you and I can grow older with that kind of spirit, we will live stay young forever. ‘Seeing God’s beauty in unexpected places and God’s splendor in unexpected people,’ we can grow our cursillo community.