Best Version of Ourselves

Deacon Blog                                                                          June 23, 2019

Best version of ourselves

Come Holy Spirit, Come !!!. No, wait… I could use a break. “Let me get a few things done then I’ll be ready”. Or, better yet “I’ll get back to you when my schedule frees up”.

A few weeks ago we wrapped up Religious Ed classes for the year. This year we had a steady 60 kids or so attending almost each week, and 10 Catechists shouldering the load and teaching the faith… and I could not have been more proud of the job they did (the parents as well) or humbled by the sacrifice of their time. Three teachers are full time college students, one is a school principal with three kids of his own, one an accountant and mother, one a full-time county employee and father of two, one a home-maker, one a graduating high school senior, one a rancher and father of three, and one a retired Deacon’s wife who has taught for over a decade. The diversity and commitment of this entire group is inspiring and affirming all at the same time. Inspiring in that they are all busy people who carved out time to serve GOD in this capacity and affirming in that this is what I have always felt true discipleship to our Lord should look like. Not always perfect, convenient, or well-timed but always effective in the context of merely saying “Yes” to GOD’s will. I’ll say more on this in a minute.

We spend so much time making plans for “our time”. What we want to accomplish, where we should go, and when we should start and end these plans. We sculpt financial plans, manage recreation time, and weave our life maintenance into what is left. Life maintenance is my term for cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, helping friends/family, eating, entertainment, and worshipping GOD etc. In my “perfect world” I’m praying, fishing, and writing (in that order) most of my time. Afterall, it is my life… or is it? To employ some good old-fashion logic to this conversation, I keep returning to two main essential points: What GOD has done for me… and what my Church and parish community mean to me. Please know this, what I am about to say has existed in my life long before my ordination. It flows from a strong sense of gratitude (for the sacrifice of Jesus) and a humble appreciation for the presence of GOD in my life the past 46 years (34 yrs through the people of this parish). How can I not respond to what GOD asks of me? How can we not express, through our discipleship, the desire to participate in Christ’s mission of LOVE? If someone came up to you one day and paid off all your bills, healed your child’s terminal illness, and … well you know where this is going, would you just say “Thanks” and move on quickly to other things? While I first and foremost see my relationship with GOD as intimate and loving, I feel a responsibility to the Lord for saving me through the sacrifice of HIS life.

 

Cont. on back

My Catechists and R.E. advisors make it all happen through their prayerful decision to teach and mentor our youth. Would they prefer to sleep in on Sundays? You bet. Would they rather not spend time in the evening preparing for class. Without a doubt. But they do it anyway and they even seem cheerful doing it (although that could be an act). The faith education of our kids is second only to the Eucharist in importance in my mind. Without it our Faith is gone within one or two generations. Without the Faith, 100’s of millions of people starve and are without the most basic of life’s necessities of medicine, shelter, and water. Without the Faith we have no eternal life, for this is how we are saved. Through their prayerful response we have a wonderful and growing program that will feed the hearts and minds of our youth their whole life. They will hopefully learn that all GOD simply asks of us is humble obedience. Nothing heroic. We don’t have to respond. He will accept our answer and still Love us beyond our comprehension. They will also learn that real JOY and Happiness depends on that answer.

I cannot express, adequately how much I appreciate the efforts of these teachers. It inspires me, raises my hope, and gives me the energy to work for our parish. A joyful life is the intention of our creation. I don’t know how many of us really experience this, but my feeling is not enough… for sure not enough. Real peace in life can only be found in committing to the happiness of those around us. While we are to work for the happiness of others, someone else is working for our happiness and our sense of belonging.  Like our Blessed Mother, all it took was a simple yes and heart to give back. Please open your hearts in prayer to see what the Spirit is calling you to. “Many hands make light work” as our Grandmothers always said.  Give to our parish financially (we will not have a religious education program in a few years at our current rate of giving… despite attendance increasing), seek out opportunities to help with a need that arises, and never cease praying for guidance and strength from the ONE poured out on us at Pentecost. GOD Bless You All for what you are doing. This is what becoming the best version of ourselves can look like. Make friends with the Holy Spirit and invite Him into your life. You will be so happy, and blessed, you did.

A Blessed Pentecost, Most Holy Trinity, and Corpus Christi !!!

Comments, Questions, Random Thoughts?                deaconmike@gunnisoncatholic.org

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