Father was saying that everyone expects things to get done around St. Louis but they don't put any effort to help with those things. Someone else will do it, I suppose. And, yes, it does get done but, oh, we could be doing so much more! Those who understand the community of faith are the ones who are always there and always doing those things. They'd welcome the help! I personally don't consider the things that are going on at the parish as "work". It is the best time for love and fellowship. To nurture friendships and create new ones. To ask people to pray for me when I need it and to find out who I need to pray for and why.
People just don't understand what the community of faith is and how important it should be in your life. I have heard so many people make comments like, "that just doesn't interest me." Really? It doesn't interest you to know the people that you go to church with? It doesn't interest you to consume the Eucharist with people you know and love rather than with strangers? Or, you have so much going on in your life that you can't get to know the people that you (supposedly) share your faith with? If you are doing any sort of volunteer work it should be first and foremost happening at your parish. For people that don't want to be involved I have trouble not wondering if they really have faith or know what faith really is.
I don't know if I can explain how fulfilling it is to be part of a parish community. To share warm smiles and loving hugs. To ask someone how they are doing and genuinely care about the answer. To know when I walk in those doors that those people care about me as well. To know I will get married among friends, be involved with the development of my parish community, and bring my children from infancy to adulthood among these parish people is exactly what I am called to do. It is exactly what I dream of doing. It is enriching, exciting, loving and I know that I will cherish every moment of it now and will continue to do so.
Church is not meant to be run into Sunday morning, run out of after Mass and not thought about again until next week.
St. Louis in general has so much going on that I have to make myself set other things in the priority list and cut back on involvement. I am counting on my time coming later when I am no longer in school. I appreciate all the wonderful activities, adult education, childhood development, spiritual programs, prayer and devotional times for worship that are implemented for us to do as a community of faith. I wish I was more involved, that I could help out with planning and organizing. For right now, all I can do is participate and be a part of the attendance.
Father Larry spoke about how St. Louis is the largest church of any denomination in three counties. People still have never heard of St. Louis nor know where it is! He said we should be on the front page of the Statesman every day with some great work of charity. It was inspiring and makes me glad that I am at least putting in as much time and effort as I can in the parish. I hope some people were listening on Sunday and didn't brush him off. He meant what he said.
Lord, help me to inspire those around me to be a more active part of their parish community. Thank You for the fire You have lit in me with my own faith and parish involvement. Thank You for my parents loving attitude and their parish dedication which was instilled in me. Thank You for my sisters who also are active in their parish communities. Thank You for the wonderful, loving followers of You that I have met at St. Louis over the last three years. And, thank You for Matthew, who with me, makes each parish event more meaningful and allows me to grow closer to You.
Lord, please bless Your expectant mothers with healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. In Your name, I pray, Our Father...