The great Fr. Joseph Illo, head chaplain at Thomas Aquinas College, delivered this homily to the students before they set off for San Francisco and the 10th Annual Walk for Life West Coast. Fr. Illo gives us a good sense of perspective on what it is we are trying to do, and reminds us of our duty to God and our fellow creatures.
“Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Francis de Sales, the “Good Bishop of Geneva.” People called him “good” meaning “gentle,” as we hear in the opening prayer of today’s Mass. (“Grant, O Lord, that we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbor.”) It is just for this “service of our neighbor” that many of us will set out for San Francisco in a few hours.
This year we have a record three buses and many cars packed with students on pilgrimage to the West Coast Walk for Life. We pray that we will witness to the charity of Jesus Christ, whose ambassadors we are. St. Francis de Sales often used the image of bees and honey in his writings, showing how souls are saved more effectively by sweetness than by confrontation. We hope to attract hearts and minds by honey rather than vinegar at this year’s Walk for Life….”