What do we do every morning when we wake up? Do we thank God for the gift of life? Do we thank God for being able to breath? Do we thank God because, despite our problems, we have an opportunity to overcome them today?
In the sacristy of a Parish, I remember having read a quote that said something like, “Celebrate this Mass as if it were the first time that you celebrated. Celebrate this Mass as if it were the last time you will celebrate.” Some time ago, this quotation was very commonly posted in Parishes. Its intention was to remind the priests to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy of the Eucharist with love and intensity. It made a lasting impression on me and I still refer to it today. It’s not just words to live by for priests; it’s for all of us. We must make sure that every day of our lives is a true celebration; that when we wake up we can thank God for giving us the opportunity to live a new day.
It is true that, for many, arising every day, becomes perhaps an uncomfortable confrontation with reality, like a fightagainst health or financial problems; but, the truth is, that when we arise, though we may struggle, we have the opportunity to confront what life presents to us. It’s the opportunity to accept both our crosses and our joys…to feel grateful that we are still here walking this earth with those we love.
Now let us think about those who are no longer with us. They can no longer drink a cup of coffee in the morning, give or receive a kiss or hug a loved one. On the contrary, you and I can certainly do this. For this we must be grateful to God. At the same time, we must also be thankful to God for the gift of those who have gone before us, for the impact they made on our lives and for the opportunity to have known them. We must never forget those who have gone to the Father in heaven for the day we do this is truly the day they die.
That is why every day upon awakening you must give thanks to God the Father for the life you have in Jesus Christ, his beloved son. Give thanks to God for your loved ones. Giving thanks to God helps to shift your focus on the positive and acknowledge, not just to God but also to yourself, how truly blessed you are even though you may have trials. Therefore, arise and say, “Here I am, Lord, to do your Will.” Celebrate your lives and those of your loved ones. Jesus said once: “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25‑26) Like the priests celebrating for the first and last time, live your life with love and intensity. Rise up and live as if it were your first or your last day.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Deacon Franklin came to know Christ as a child thanks to his grandfather, Nicasio Mejía. Nicasio introduced Franklin to the spiritual life and the doctrine of the Catholic faith. Because of this, Franklin was a very active member of the Salesian youth groups in his community from a very young age and, as he grew older, he received training to become a youth leader.
Upon arriving in the United States, Franklin worked for the Hispanic Youth Ministry in the Archdiocese of Boston organizing sports tournaments, youth leadership training programs, and an outreach ministry dedicated to visiting youth in prison. Deacon Franklin’s passion for evangelization led him to Catholic Television, where he was the host and producer of “Good News.” His desire to evangelize through the media was inspired by Pope John Paul II, who encouraged the Church to use all media to present Christ to others.
Ordained in 2014, Deacon Franklin was assigned to Sacred Hearts Parish in Malden and he continues his work at the Catholic Television Network, Boston in charge of the production of The Holy Mass.
He has been happily married to his wife, Wendy, for 18 years and they are the proud parents of Gabriel Andres, 17 and Isabella María, 13.