Our Mother Needs Help

4th Sunday of Easter
By Deacon Dick Kostner

Happy Mother’s Day! Jesus refers to his Church as his mother and his bride. While God does not need us he requests that we be a part of his mystical body. The vocation he gives to his Church is to preach and live the gospel message of happiness and love not only in this life but also in the next with him, in heaven. The problem that this brings to us is that this vocation can only be accomplished in this life, by and through the carrying of crosses during this life.

At the beginning of Lent we walked through a trailer movie of our life here on Earth displayed to us by reflecting upon the “Way of the Cross,” displayed here on our Church Mother’s walls. We discovered that while completing his vocation, which was opening the door to heaven for his Church, he got tired of carrying the cross and fell three times. Three times he felt he could not go on. Ordinary people like you and me, together with his heavenly Father, gave him help and the courage to go on. Jesus relied on faithful friends and the Father for help and moral support.

As you know since I was ordained a Deacon some twenty plus years ago, I have been involved with the RCIA program which invites adults to become members of our faith and the Mother Church. In the early Church it was directed to people who did not know Jesus or the Christian faith. Now, that program has also been available to Christians of other faiths, who are interested in becoming members of the Catholic Church. In the twenty some years I have been involved in the program I believe there has only been three or four individuals who joined the Catholic Church who were not previously involved in and educated in the Christian faith. Times have changed and the Mother Church is now involved in what it calls the New Evangelization. It’s our new challenge which is trying to get Christian educated individuals back into being active members of the body of Christ. People know about Jesus but are finding it difficult to witness his presence and help within their busy lives.

Our RCIA team is determined to help RCIA Candidates to recognize just how involved God is within our lives. The best way to teach this is by sharing our encounters with God in ordinary experiences of life. At every class we share what we call our “Spirit Stories” with each other to show just how important a part we play in God’s plan for us to be active participants in His plan for our happiness and salvation goal for us and our friends and neighbors, to be with him for all eternity. We are blessed in this Community with many active members of the body of Christ but the Covid has weakened our mission to be example setters for making everyone’s life happier and more faith filled by supporting our Mother Church. Attendance has not returned to pre-Covid numbers for many of our parishioners at Sunday Mass. Those who are still active in Church ministry are not only getting older but also are being overwhelmed with the responsibilities of keeping our Parish healthy in mind and spirit.

Liturgy is the generator, the battery charger for the Faithful to continue to be example setters for the faith community. The Liturgy cross our parish is carrying is getting too heavy for it to handle without the help of the Simon’s and Veronica’s. There are many members in our Parish still attending our Liturgies who used to be active Liturgy ministers of the word; greeters; and Ministers of Holy Communion, that no longer wish to be active for a variety of reasons. All of us will fall down numerous times on our trip to eternity but with a little help from the Simon and Veronica’s our St. Paul’s and St. John’s Body of Christ will continue on as Jesus did to fulfill our vocation to preach and teach by example, the gospel message of love of God and neighbor.

You will find forms and pencils in your pews to sign up and help carry our Parish crosses on our “Way of the Cross.” Not ready to sign today? When my wife asks people to help with ministries and they are reluctant, I will quote her by saying to you. “Pray over it.” and return your sign up sheet next week. I would also suggest you request St. Joseph to “sleep over” your requests for help in making a decision. I have acquired for our Parish a Sleeping Joseph Statute which is located on our Sacred Heart of Jesus Altar. Saint Joseph had many communications from God in the form of dreams and he always obeyed these communications. You may ask St. Joseph to ask God to help you make important decisions in life by placing your written requests in the box on which the Statute rests. We will have the Sleeping St. Joseph statute available for your help requests for a couple of weeks. Pope Frances does this on a regular basis and he encourages the faithful to do the same.

The Church realizes that some of you are physically or mentally unable to help carry this ministry cross. Veronica was unable to help carry the cross for Jesus but she did what she could do to help him. To people who can’t help carry this vocation anymore, you can still be a “Veronica” to those who need help, wipe their face, tell them thanks, and tell them they are needed. As Jesus told us in today’s Gospel, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.”

I will close with a Psalm Prayer for our Parish “Mother”: “Lord, God, your only Son wept over ancient Jerusalem, soon to be destroyed for its lack of faith. He established the new Jerusalem firmly upon rock and made it the mother of the faithful. Make us rejoice in your Church and grant that all people may be reborn into the freedom of your Spirit. Amen!“ On behalf of Fr. Victor and all our Parish Ministers, Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and to our Mother Church!

One Response to “Our Mother Needs Help”

  1. pussywillowpress Says:

    Well said. I hope your parishioners hear Jesus’ calling & respond generously :).

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