Sunday, September 13, 2009

Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's readings can be found here

The question posed in James is "What good is faith without works?" For an individual, faith in God's sanctifying grace is all that is needed to be saved. However, on earth, we are living in community. Community needs each member to contribute in one way or another. Otherwise we are all just living next to each other instead of with each other.

Mahatma Ghandi once said, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians." Wow. What kind of behavior must we have been displaying for him to say that? We must not be living out the ministry of Christ and the works of our faith to our fullest extent.

Looking at the vast array of religious orders, it is easy to see that there are many different types of works to be done: ministry to the sick, healthy, dying, survivor, poor, wealthy, orphan, child, teen, homosexual, married, single, addict, homeless, jobless, soldier, hungry, and more. There are orders who focus on teaching, healing, health, meditation, contemplation, preaching, politics, social justice, and missionary work. Even within our own church building, opportunities abound for works: extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, lectoring, singing, altar serving, greeting, taking the collection, becoming a Deacon, writing the bulletin, teaching catechism, collecting for the food drive, writing letters to representatives, leading the Mom's group, cleaning the church pews after mass, cleaning the candles and altar before mass, parish council, and so much more.

God asks for our time, talent and treasure to meet the needs of the community. God's gift of grace saves us. Our faith sustains us. Our works help our neighbor and build our community. I pray that each of us can respond to the needs of the community according to the call on our hearts and that one day, a great leader may say, “I like your Christ, and I love your Christians.”

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