As a parish, you may be hard-pressed to find reliable content to update your website on a regular basis. That is why an RSS feed is so valuable to parishes wishing to make their website a place where people can go to be formed in the Catholic faith and stay up to date about their faith community.
Breath, life, fire, wind … these are primordial images. God uses them to remind us of something transcendent, not tame. The Holy Spirit at work in our lives goes beyond our compartments and neatly organized Christianity. This Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit wants to stir us up. He wants to hover over our chaos, upend our expectations, and show us a new, transforming joy.
We were created for community. Human beings are not meant to be alone. As each of us grows in our relationship with Jesus, we find ourselves drawn further into community. The fruits that result from my stewardship and your stewardship will never amount to more than what we can produce together.
As a church, it’s our responsibility to remind our parishioners that summer shouldn’t just be about recharging our bodies, but it should also (and most importantly!) be about focusing on our spiritual life. Just as parish office hours may need to be adjusted during summer months, so, too, might the requirements of the faithful need some adjusting.
It is common thinking to believe that Christ’s Ascension into heaven somehow removes him from earth and that the Holy Spirit becomes some kind of substitution for his presence here. How then, are we to think of this event we celebrate? If Christ is now fully glorified and ascended into heaven, how can he still be here?
Through our stewardship, we allow our parish community to shine like a city on a hill for others to see and then be drawn toward Jesus Christ. It is about leading people to heaven. Our actions of stewardship do not point toward us but instead to the one who calls us to this life.
In some ways, it’s an elephant in the room. We may wish that every parish job and every church culture was perfectly attuned for human flourishing — both our own and those of our fellow parishioners. Sometimes, however, creating environments for other people’s flourishing means we neglect our own.
Despite criticism from many fronts, Pope Francis has made this vision of a Church moving “beyond the boundaries” the guiding principle of his ministry and this has certainly been a dominant theme in his papacy. Nothing less is expected of us. In the end, what’s at stake in all of this is the mission of the Church.
As Christians, we can find ourselves hiding behind our words. The world will only know whom it is we serve if we love like Jesus, we act like Jesus, and we serve others like Jesus. Our love should be an instrument of our evangelization. Our words must become true, not because we say them enough, but because they are true.
We all want answers as to why we are here and what we were made for. We need to know that we matter and that our talents can be put to good use. That is why it is so essential to set the tone when someone makes the leap into your parish community. And a great way to do this is with a welcome packet!
How does Jesus make all things new? Jesus tells us that all he has taught can be summed up in one commandment, “Love one another.” The love that Jesus commands is no warm feeling of affection expressing itself in hugs and kisses. Rather, he commands them to love one another as he has loved them — by dying on the cross. Jesus is the only hope of renewal for us individually, for the Church, and for the world.