On one of my recent visits to a parishioner in a long-term care facility, I smile in thinking that I learned more from this faith-filled lady in our time together than any words I may have offered to comfort her. She said, “Fr. Greg, remember that the doors of the church open outward, not inward.”
In our second reading from James 1:17-18, 21-22, 27 we will hear the words, “Welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” James does not mince words, for this is a loud and clear summary how we are to live, by being doers of the word and not hearers only. Here is the gift that we have been given – we are blessed to be able to gather together as a community to listen to the Word of God and to see how God speaks to us through His living Word. We must listen to Scripture, always taking in the Word of God in the light of all Scripture, in the light of the early church teachers of the Christian faith, and in the light of the teachings of the Church, the Church magisterium. We are not simply called to hear this Word and to simply be on our way, or that it does not apply to us. This can be a challenge, I must admit.
As with every challenge, I believe that there is an opportunity. We are called to take the Word, meditate with the Word, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, allow it to guide us in our actions. That is when we are living out our faith. This is where we put our faith into action. When the priest or deacon proclaims at the end of Mass, “Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your lives,” these are our marching orders, by Christ himself. To care for the basic needs of those in our community. To restore dignity to those in need. To bring hope to those who are suffering. To lend a helping hand. To help guide and educate the young around us, and the young at heart. To care for the sick, and to be a friend to the homebound. This is who we are as a Church, as disciples of Christ.
When we push the doors of the church open and outward, we exit, refueled and recharged to do exactly that, having been fed by the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ.
This weekend I thank you for warmly welcoming Msgr. Leo Clutterbuck back to celebrate Mass with you. May God continue to bless each of you and those that you love, and I look forward to seeing you next weekend upon my return from some summer holidays.
From Our Pastor