The priority of Saint Anne Catholic Community is to proclaim and celebrate the Word of God and the sacraments. However, the proclamation of the Good News is the responsibility of each and every parishioner. The focus of our parish life must be on Jesus Christ.
Att ending Mass at Saint Anne is where we “fully and actively participate” in Communion together as the body of Christ. Keeping this perspective in mind definitely changes how attentive I am to the readings, how I sing the hymns, how I interact with people around me during Mass and how I engage with others in our community.
In today’s reading from the second Letter to the Thessalonians, Saint Paul suggests that we slow down, listen and pay attention to the Lord’s faithfulness. He describes him as our protector, champion and leader. May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. The two needs that each of us has is the need for rescue and help and the need for purpose and meaning. Through life, we need God’s help every step of the way. But, we also need God to guide us in life and give our lives meaning. Saint Paul writes May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the endurance of Christ.
On Sundays or on a daily basis, we are fortunate to receive the gift of the Eucharist, which can transform our attitude and altitude and point us in the right direction. We can face our difficulties, suffering and challenges for we know that Jesus Christ is the hope of the world!
As Director, Care Ministries, I am responsible for the Ministry of Care, Ministry of Praise, Bereavement Ministry, Seniors Group and am the staff animator for the Human Concerns Commission. While on campus, I witness how our parish nourishes and guides us when we partake in the sacraments. I see it in daily Chapel Mass, the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist, the anointing of the sick, the sacrament of reconciliation, a communion service, intercessory prayers, bringing the Eucharist to the sick, a funeral liturgy or a baptism. These celebrations help us meet Jesus Christ. A few weeks ago, I read a twist on the famous words that President John F. Kennedy asked American citizens as he was inaugurated in January 1961-“Ask not what your parish can do for you. Ask what you can do for your parish.” When we think back to the era of the 1960’s-JFK changed the country’s attitude about the future-he set a vision and energized a nation. Just imagine what God can do for all of us here at Saint Anne Catholic Community if we engage more with each other and set our sights high.
We are called to be more than spectators, but rather “full, active and conscious” participants-out in the community. This week, take a few minutes to reflect prayerfully on the gifts of your life, health, mind, heart and spirit given to us by God-and ask how you might use and share these gifts with others.
I would like to share another famous JFK quote: “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” I encourage you to use your gifts and volunteer within our parish: hold a Sunday morning Communion Service, assist at funerals, share your hobby or interests with seniors, mentor young adults, help the homeless at PADS, become an altar server, sing in the Resurrection Choir, visit the sick, contribute to food collections and prepare Jesse tree ornaments. There is more to life than all this “disruption” we see around us. Give it a try-share your gifts with others and become the hands and feet of Jesus. Be assured, your life will be greatly enriched!