Monday, March 2, 2015

Community of Support

Friends of Faith:
I could say that the past three weekends have been an insight into the meaning of“community of support,” but what I realize is that it isn’t just one day, or one weekend, but rather it is everyday and every hour that my “yoke is made easy and my burden light” (Matthew 11:30) by the community of support God has placed around me.

Three weeks ago at the Valentine’s Date Night Archbishop Jackel’s instructed us as couples that it is our vocational calling as married individuals to “do whatever we can to help our spouses become holy.” Over the past two weekends”new CEW (Christian Experience Weekend) candidates were summoned to “go, make a difference.”
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’ …He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.’ Mt 25: 31-46
Daily I am reminded that I couldn’t be who I am without the help of those around me: Stan, family, my co-workers, customers, neighbors and friends who lend a helping hand and those who I don’t even know that pray for my spiritual, emotional and material needs.
God’s original and ultimate call to us as Christians is simple: to help and support each other – in every way possible – no matter what it takes, including our own sacrifice and suffering – just as He himself sacrificed by giving us His only son, Jesus who in turn suffered death on the cross for our sins (not his own).
Jesus Christ knew that his words alone would not carry forth without the Institution of the Church, and the Institution of the Priesthood—without the support of community.
“Then he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness….The Commissioning of the Twelve. Jesus sent out these twelve after instructing them thus,“Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.” Mt 10: 1-8
And in nearly every passage of the New Testament it is not just Jesus, or just one disciple who went forth to teach or preach, but rather they went together in small groups to share the message and to help one or another. Jesus is often heard asking the Apostles, “Come, follow me.”
“For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Mt 18:20
So too are we called to ask so that we may receive: First for God’s help – but then also for the help of the faith community around us – to gather two by two – in His name.
I know from not only the recent 10 months but from many times in the past I could not have survived or achieved without the help of God and others: first I call upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit which sustain me; next I have been given the gift of a spouse, Stan, who supports and serves me as much as humanly possible through the vocational calling of our marriage vows; and thirdly I have been placed by my baptism within a community of support—the Church—where together in faith we are joined with each other, and with the Saints and all who have gone before us (Rev 8: 3-4), to support each other in prayer, by listening ears and with helping hands.
Heavenly Father, Your creation of “two” is infinitely powerful. Thank you for each and every person you have placed in my community of support. Help me to also become more like you by being willing to give up my time and talents for those around me. May I become yours to serve in this community of support. Amen.
God in his infinite wisdom joins us together by our baptism into the Church, teaching us how to become reliant on one other.
From the creation of Eve as a helpmate to her spouse, Adam; to Christ’s search for and commissioning of the apostles as Priests; to our Christian community today –without each other we cannot survive (quite literally through the procreation/birth of humanity). And without the love and support of God and those He has created for us to help us we will wither and die.
So as individualistic as society seems to want us to be—we survive because of what God (divinely) and someone else (humanly) provides since none of us would be here without at least two others, our parents (so God created marriage).
I am called to make it my mission to share and become a part of His community of support by answering God’s call: to know Him, to Love Him and to serve Him (through you) rigorously and continuously.
I pray in hope that each of You will continue to grow to become a bigger part of His mission daily,

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