From our daily prayer practices, being grateful, having an awareness of God’s presence in our daily lives, asking for peace and forgiveness, seeking freedom and lifting up others, we bring all of these aspects of prayer to our celebration of the Eucharist each week. We come together to the banquet of the Lord to be fed, nourished, sustained and lifted up so that we can immerse ourselves into the ever present challenges of our everyday life. It is through the Eucharist we are made one in Christ and then challenged to be one in faith with others. Each Sunday we are invited to the feast.
Similarly, this Sunday we hear the parable of the king inviting everyone to a wedding feast for his son and future daughter-in-law, but people ignore the invitation, are too busy, or harm the messengers. The king has his servants go out to the main roads and invite everyone to fill the wedding hall with guests. Maybe it is our turn to invite our friends and neighbors to the banquet, the gift of life every Sunday. What if you invited one other person to come to Mass with you next week?
It has been pointed out that developing the church, the faith community occurs when there is a conversion of heart. ‘Without a conversion of heart, no one is able to give themselves as Christ asked us to do.” In everything we do there is a “personal” dimension and a parochial or “parish” dimension that is part of the wider community dimension. Recognizing our responsibility to respond to Christ how do we employ our prayer and participation to make a difference? To be good stewards of God’s gifts is one of the aims of our lives, in turn giving us meaning and purpose.
For we know too well that “Faith is caught more than taught.” “People believe more in a homily they can see rather than one they can hear.” Around Saint Anthony parish there are many homilies that are seen, SafePark – providing safe parking places for those who live out of their cars. There is the toiletries drive to provide hygiene products to our brothers and sisters on the streets; gathering up turkeys and canned food to feed the hungry through Sacred Heart
Community Services for those who sometimes make choices of either eating or paying bills. Coming together in small sharing groups to take the Word of God and then put it into action is another aspect of being a good steward, participating in personal growth and development.
How do we use our gifts for others? How do we become better stewards of all that God gives to us? May we reflect on these challenges this coming week.
Blessings, Father Larry Hendel