That’s what it’s all about: Ministry.
My heartfelt thanks to the leaders who set up displays for our Ministry Fair last weekend. My twofold hope was that we would not only get people to become more involved, but that we would also have a chance to meet each other and be able to put some names on faces. I don’t know about you, but I always feel badly about not remembering a name and after a while you’re embarrassed to ask someone for their name again. Gathering helps the process. You succeeded so well!
The refreshments after all three Masses were wonderful. Thanks to the Hogans and Guerins for wine and cheese after 5:00, the Council of Catholic Women for 8:30, and Nancy Adams, Judy Fisher and Patrick O’Dea for the mimosas and sandwiches after 11:00. And at the center of it all was, of course, Annie Gardner who made it all hum seamlessly. (Well, I was humming while she was seaming.)
One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of ministry says, “a person or thing through which something is accomplished.” One ‘something’ I hope for in these Ministry Fairs is a deeper appreciation of each other. Another goal is more involvement. I got some good feedback about new folk wanting to get more involved. So, all in all, it was a wonderful weekend. (Maybe next year we can have Bloody Mary’s after 8:30. I can hear it now... “St. Sebastian; oh, is that the place they drink all the time?”)
On a more important note, we create places where people can talk and help you discover things you would have never known if you hadn’t been working with someone. We are first and foremost a community of prayer. When someone from your (our) faith community says, “I will pray for you and yours,” you know you can count on that intercession. It really means something.
Most people aren’t particularly anxious to tell someone all their problems, and yet when you can get to know someone well enough, it can help a lot to have an ear that hears your heart as well as your hassles. Those opportunities that God gives us to know each other are what we call Ministry.
On Tuesday evening, December 20th, at 6:30 p.m. we will have our Advent Parish Reconciliation Service.
In preparation, you can start jotting down the things for which you would like to receive absolution. MAKE THE LIST CONCISE. At the service, each of you will give your list to one of the priests who will be present, and he will give you personal absolution, and then you will burn the list. Our friends, Fr. Antony Vayalikarottu and Fr. Santhosh Thomas, priests of the Syro-Malankara rite will be with us.
Our celebration is not a time for extended conversations. In fact, in this moment, we don’t want any conversation except between you and the Lord. God already knows the faults. He wants us to acknowledge them and then let Him heal us.
Reconciliation is all about on-going conversion. The line from the 1970’s Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell is on my wall:
“Oh, dear Lord, three things I pray:
to see Thee more clearly,
love Thee more dearly,
follow Thee more nearly, day by day.”
I think that’s a pretty good prayer for Advent. I am praying for clarity, for deeper love at what I see, and a mission that flows from the love.
Thanks to Chuck Stanley and the Nova Singers for blessing us last Tuesday. May we always sing to the Lord,