Deacon Blog April 17, 2019
To Whom Shall We go?
To follow up my last blog, I left out the scriptural answer to the Jesus’ rhetorical question to HIS Disciples, “Do you love me”. Peter gives the same answer we all should give… “Yes LORD, you know all things…you know we do”. It seems the next line is the part humanity struggles with…three times. “Then feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). This is the line we sometimes want to overlook, as if this conversation were only meant for Peter and the Disciples. Here our charge to serve HIM, from youth to old age, is given to us all. Being that I am becoming one of the “older crowd” I seem to hear “I’ve done my part” much more frequent than I can remember. I have two thoughts here, 1) Did our LORD place qualifications on HIS sacrifice for us? 2) Just when we acquire good leadership experience is not the time to bail on our younger parishioners. This is their Church (not tomorrow, but today), and mentoring by senior “Body” parts is critical. That’s “Mystical Body of Christ” in case the reference is confusing. Their youth, their idealism, their energy needs guidance and perspective from those who have “fought the good fight” as St. Paul calls it. More on this later.
When Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist became hard to handle, scripture says thousands left HIS circle of influence. So much so that Jesus asks HIS twelve if they too want to leave, and Peter’s reply was “To Whom shall we go…(only) You have the words of everlasting life”. Whether we realize it or not, we too have to answer this every day. It could be personal issues that aren’t resolved as we like, Church scandal or teachings we don’t agree with, mental health, or maybe we’re weary from life’s demands. It could be we don’t “feel it” anymore so our desire to engage wanes. I don’t pretend to know all the “why’s”, but I definitely see “what” the result is and this is where I want to explore with everyone. I would love some feedback on this. As I said last week, an apathetic or complacent response to GOD’s calling for us places us in the category of “vomit” or “spit-up”, in scripture (Rev.3: 14-17).
I would like to say one more thing about this. It is very possible to think we are faithful servants and not be one, possible to profess a relationship with GOD… and not have one, to believe that Heaven awaits us and it not be true. It is up to each of us to evaluate, no one else. If our MOST intimate relationship is not with GOD the Father, it is our responsibility to make it happen. Not the Church’s, not our priest, not our friends, spouses, families, or spiritual directors. All of these can assist us, but in the end it will be a product of our desire and efforts. Our expression of returning the LOVE that GOD gave us first.
The Church needs our work: yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus’ mission is ONLY accomplished by the efforts of HIS Mystical Body… all Christians. Prayer, Fasting, and Alms-Giving are the framework for this. Prayer to strengthen our minds and hearts to the needs of creation, Fasting to sharpen our focus and perspective, and alms-giving to “pay for this work” because almost everything (outside of kindness) has a cost that must be met. If we want a Church, we must pay for it. If we want relief for the poor and disadvantaged around us, we must work for it, and if we want to be close to GOD, we must “lean into it” with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and not leave it for others to do.. Above and before everything else in life. If we have problems, find solutions… or risk a world that is not anchored by Church. Ponder this for a while and give me your thoughts. If this is you (as it is me), guess why they named the Gospel writings “GOOD NEWS”. We’ll have a quiz next week.
HIS Holy Blessings…
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