8.08.2008

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love

For as long as I can remember that song has been played an important part of my life. Of course there will be those critics that say the song is to "sing-songy", but I like the message it tries to convey.

"We are one in the Spirit, We are one in the Lord," it seems almost incredulous that we need to be reminded of that fact, but yet we do. For the past three weeks I have watched my new congregation sit facing the altar as I presided over the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I watch as people that have lived in the same community for their entire lives are now invited to become a different type of community and I am poised to lead it.

As a living community we should be one in the Spirit. Even though, we might not like the way things are we are supposed to count on God , particularly His Spirit, to get us through -- and He will. So often in our lives things change and we accept them because we we are not really in charge. While free will gives us the opportunity to make a bad or good choice, if we are truly a follower of Christ then, we should allow Him to be in charge of our lives. But it is hard. I know that too well after 13 moves in 16 years.

As a living community we should be one in the Lord. Somewhere in my Catholic education I was taught that "Church" is not a building, "Church" is the people of God. When one's faith revolves around a building, instead of the Eucharistic Lord housed in it, our understanding of the God who created us is put into question. As a priest, who is committed to the Catholic Church for life, I feel sad that many of our houses of worship are closing.

It means that something is not right. Could it be that since the 1960's families are no longer as large as they once were? Could it be that parents are no longer attending Mass themselves or allowing teenagers to "find their own spirituality"? Could it be that the Church, while trying to invite more people into the fold by up-dating its liturgy, has alienated those who were complacent with the way things were before?

I pray each day that the merger and consolidation of our parishes in our diocese will bring forth great fruit. I do so because I am one member of a living community in the Spirit and our Lord.