The Value Of Belonging
I don’t know about you, but I am still floating!
Our parish’s celebrations of the Sacred Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil – as well as the Masses on Easter Sunday, have left me in awe…they were beautifully celebrated and received. The details were attended to, the congregation was engaged…there were so many elements that came to- gether to create a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts. The awesome feeling that was generated by participation in these holy days has left me, and I hope you as well, filled with the Spirit and renewed in faith.
What is particularly staying with me in these days that follow Easter is the sense of wonder at the very many parishioners who stepped forward to pitch in to make it all happen. For example, during the season of Lent, Special Ministers of the Eucharist, some of whom only serve on the weekends, were asked to help with the distribution of the Eucharist at daily Mass, due to the increased attendance. This was a sacrifice for many, but they came forward and pitched in. Lent and the days that lead up to the Triduum bring many additional tasks of preparation…many came for- ward to lend a hand. The Lenten Soup Suppers were filled with those who cooked, or warmed and stirred, or set a table or made generous monetary contributions (by the way, a check for $7,000. is on its way to Merton House as a result of those soup suppers!).
I could go on…
Parishioners continue to approach Fr. John or Frank or me to offer their services in so many different ways. All this speaks to us of a people who have listened to the Word and have integrated it into their lives; a people who recognize the value of belonging to a community of disciples who are becoming apostles, moving from following the Lord to proclaiming the Lord with their lives; a people who understand that such a vibrant community does not just happen – it is the work of all. And this is precisely the kind of community, with its love of God and love of neighbor, that is able to reflect more clearly the face of Christ to one another…and to the world.