June is about to leave us and we will be in the throes of Summer. Hopefully this time of year will afford you more time to relax and rejuvenate your soul and spirit. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you some of the words and experiences I had this past weekend.
I was taken by something my friend Fr. Bill Konicki said during his homily at Saints Philip and James in St. James, New York, and I quickly wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget (AGE is setting in!). He suggested that in our lives as Catholic Christians we need to move from Maintenance to Mission.
I believe that many of us are in the holding pattern of Maintaining the status quo as far as developing our spiritual life. We go to Mass, perhaps attend a church talk or novena, say our nightly prayers, etc. All of this is good, but why do I do the things I do, and do they help me be a better person?
The word Mission can frighten people. The responses can be something like: I’m not going out to convince someone to be Catholic! I’m not knocking on any doors preaching to people! For me, his message was personal. Get out of the rut you may be in and proclaim the word of God by the way you live. To do that you need to first “be not afraid” to make changes in your life. Take a good look at what you do, why you do it, and how you do it – the IT being your Catholic faith!
Fear is a powerful thing that can keep us in the position of Maintenance. How do we dissolve that fear? One way I thought of was by coming to Mass and remembering that the Eucharist we receive is the real body and blood of Jesus, which is capable of changing who we are into another Christ. Simple, but so hard to make the long journey from head to the heart in order to believe it.
Interestingly, Pope Francis just shared this quote:
“Jesus repeats to His disciples three different times: “have no fear” (Mt 10:26, 28, 34).
Shortly prior to this, he had spoken to them about the persecutions they would have to undergo for the Gospel, a fact that is still a reality.
Since its beginning, in fact, the Church has experienced, together with joys – of which she has had many – many persecutions. It seems paradoxical: the proclamation of the Kingdom of God is a message of peace and justice, founded on fraternal charity and on forgiveness; and yet it meets with opposition, violence, persecution. Jesus, however, says not to fear, not because everything will be all right in the world, no, but because we are precious to his Father and nothing that is good will be lost.
So, I urge you to take the time to see if you are in that Maintenance mode and, if so, what steps do you need to take to move to Mission.
Remember: “Be not afraid!”
Till next week,