Friday, February 23, 2024 – Day 10

February 23, 2024

On the First Sunday of Lent, I mentioned at the end of the 8:30 Mass that the Woodstown Center chairs would be removed for the youth to meet and play basketball that evening. I mentioned the group that “breaks down” and “sets up” the space. They actually did it twice that weekend. After Mass, a number of parishioners jumped in to help the team break down the space for our youth! It took ten minutes … a record! Wow, what a great example of the message the authors offer today. 

St. Paul lists gifts and roles in the Church: “And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11–12).

The authors, Michael White and Tom Corcoran, beautifully explain that each of us have a role in building up the Body of Christ … the Church. We can immediately identify the Pope and Bishops along with priests and nuns. St Paul emphasizes equipping the holy ones for the work of ministry. That’s most of us!

I think many more parishioners want to serve in some capacity, but there are some obstacles on that path to discipleship:

  • I don’t know how to get involved. 
  • Only inside “church people” are welcome. 
  • If I volunteer, it’s a life sentence.😳

I’ve heard many reasons and they need to be addressed. We have to make the path to serving easy and recognizable. 

Everyone is called to serve. Everyone has something to give back. In Gods eyes, the mundane and extravagant are beautiful. 

Take a look at these questions. What are your thoughts?

How do you think serving in your parish will draw you closer to Christ? 

Why does Paul connect serving and spiritual maturity? 

What opportunities do you see for volunteering in your parish?

When I was younger, getting in front of people and speaking would panic me. In college, I was invited to read at Mass. Panic time! I wanted to get involved so I gave it a shot. I actually received some affirmation through compliments. My confidence grew and I began to read more. Then, I heard, “you should think about being a priest.” Are you kidding? Well, here I am. 

The authors challenge pastors. They say, “The primary service of pastors and teachers, or church staff in a parish, is not to do the work of ministry for the parish. Rather, they are charged to equip members of the parish community to do ministry. You might want to read that again because, in most parishes, this is a novel idea.”

As we continue this journey together, please come back to this thought shared by the authors. We each have a role. Together, I know we can build up the Body of Christ.