Dear friends on the journey,
Throughout my younger years, I spent a lot of time living out my faith. I had wonderful examples in my grandparents, parents, teachers, and mentors so it was natural for me to become an altar server, a weekly mass goer, teen peer leader, summer camp leader, Eucharistic minister, fundraiser, catechist for preschoolers, teens, adults including parents baptizing children, a parish secretary and later a business manager. I was doing a lot of disciple’s work in God’s vineyard.
But about seven years ago, I realized I was “doing” but without really “being” … being in relationship with God, at least not in the way that I thought possible. So I embarked on a journey to change this. I learned about different spiritualities, forms of prayers, engaged in spiritual direction, went on retreats, had thoughtful conversations about faith, and through these I began and continue to deepen my relationship with God. I encountered Jesus for the first time. Don’t get me wrong, I had strong faith. I was a believer. But my eyes, mind and heart were opened to what it means to be in relationship with God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.
I don’t say all that to toot my own horn but to echo the message in today’s second reading from James.
Indeed someone might say, “You have faith and I have works.” Demonstrate your faith to me without works, and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
We need both faith and works. When we are rooted in relationship with God, when we love God and rest in God’s love for us, the automatic response then is to give that love to others. In loving others, it is necessary to return inward to be nourished and guided by God. Faith is rhythmic, that ebbs and flows, inhaling and exhaling, receiving and living.
Today begins our three-week ministry fair where we showcase the ministries that support that rhythm. Not only those ministries where you live out your discipleship and “do” for God and others like James affirms, but also those ministries that feed and support you spiritually, pastorally and to just “be” with God. You know the analogy of the airplane oxygen mask: put yours on first then help others.
Perhaps you need to care for yourself first, or maybe you’re ready to give.
Wherever you are in your faith rhythm, I invite you to come and see after all morning Masses.Are you in a place of needing to breathe in,wanting to give, or desiring both?
Faith Life Minister