It was a humbling experience to watch the beatification of our Salvatorian founder, Francis Jordan last Saturday. Because I can understand Italian, especially in a “church” context, I was able to watch it without the distraction of translation. It was also moving for me to see many members of the Salvatorian Family that I have not seen since I left Rome over 8 years ago. I am praying to Jordan for our parish community, that we may grow toward our goal of “making disciples of all people,” a central aspect of Jordan’s mission. Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, help us to be true disciples.
Today we celebrate Pentecost, the birthday of the Church - happy birthday! The Spirit descended on the disciples and sent them out to bring the Good News to all they met. We have been given that same task, the task of “making disciples of all people.” How can we do that?
We can bring the Good News to the world by using the gifts that have been given to us. Each one of us has time, talent, and treasure, given to us by God. These gifts are for our benefit, but also for the benefit of His Body, the Church. We are called to use our gifts to bring Christ’s love to others.
Time: when we think of giving, sometimes we only think of money or things. But each of us has 24 hours in each day and some of our most important sharing can be with our time. There are so many people who are alone, unable to move around and go out. A visit, or even a telephone call, can be worth more than a lot of money to those who are isolated. Even if I, myself, cannot get around much, I certainly can call others! If we are alert, we will find ways to reach out to others in a way that shares Christ’s love with them.
Talent: often we think of specific skills, for example, someone who works in the finance area can volunteer on the parish Finance Council. Then we can think, ”I don’t have much to offer.” But we do. Can you push a lawnmower? How about helping an elderly neighbor who struggles with that task? I am going to the grocery store; suppose I asked an elderly neighbor what I could pick up for them? If we are alert, if we are thinking of others and not just ourselves, opportunities will jump out at us.
In the Catholic Digest, there was a column, called “The Perfect Assist,” that shared stories about how one little act of kindness, done in Christ’s name, brought someone to our Lord. Ultimately, it is the Lord who draws people to Himself, but often He uses us as instruments.
Treasure: as anyone who has traveled to third world countries can tell you, we are so blessed here in the United States, even those of us deemed “poor” by our country’s standards. We are called to think of others and share with them from all we have, not simply from what is extra or left over after we have satisfied all our wants and needs. I remind us of the parable of the widow’s mite.
As we celebrate the birthday of the Church, the Body of Christ, I invite us to reflect on how we use our time, talent, and treasure to bring others to Christ. How can we do better? Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Your love. God bless.
Church sign of the week: A good example has twice the value of good advice.