Archive | January, 2014

no “volunteers” wanted

14 Jan

Trinity Ministry 01

At Baptism we are welcomed into the inner life and the outer activity of the Trinity.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit we love one another and enter fully into the lives of each other.

In the name of the Father, the Creator, we protect and enhance all of creation, leaving everything and everyone better than we found them.

In the name of the Son, the Redeemer, we use our every God-given ability and our every God-given situation to lift up and rescue everything and everyone from any distress and despair.  

In the name of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, we live life with serenity, courage and wisdom, and live among everyone as people of gratitude, hope and joy.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in the name of the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, everything that we are and everything that we do is spent for the good of others and the glory of God, for the sanctification of the world and the salvation of souls.

When it comes to ministry in the Catholic Church, there are no “volunteers”. Being involved in the work of the Church is not optional. When we were baptized, we became “co-workers” with God. Being baptized, it is our duty to work with God in creating, redeeming and sanctifying the world. We have been given a mission!

St. Andrew Parish Ministry Fare takes place in the church (basement) hall after all the Sunday Masses on the weekend of January 18-19, 2014.

God in Diapers

1 Jan

baby-jesus-and-mary

The one who reads aloud the Gospel of the visit of the shepherds must make the appropriate pause, lest it sound like “they found Mary and Joseph and the infant lying in the manger.” All three of them lying in the manger together sounds cozy, but cramped. Yet the failure to pause (and the accompanying chuckle) gives us pause to remember that God chose to be that close to us. God has invited us into that kind of intimacy with him.

What we celebrate on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God is quite simple: “God chose to have a mother. God chose Mary to be that mother.” That is amazing. If it were not so true, it would be unbelievable.

God chose to have a mother. I had no choice. I had to have a mother or I would not exist. God, who creates everything, chose to be a creature. God did not choose be like us; God chose to be one of us. God, who creates every mother, chose to have a mother. The woman he chose for his mother, he himself had created. God, who creates all life that lives in the womb, chose to live in the womb. God chose to be born and to wear diapers. God chose to be held, changed and nursed. That is outlandish. If it were not so true, it would be unbelievable.

God chose as his mother someone who was humble and simple, trusting and loving, brave and strong. God chose Mary to be his mother. When Mary felt movement within her, she was feeling God within her. When she felt a kick, she was feeling God’s foot. When she held her baby and smelled him, she smelled something of herself, and she smelled something of divinity and eternity. When she slobbered him with motherly kisses, she was kissing the face of God.

We call him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Prince of Peace. We call her God-bearer, God-birther, Mother of God. If it were not so true, it would be unbelievable.

The painting above is by American painter Morgan Weistling. “Kissing the Face of God” is lovely and tender. Take a generously long look at the painting, savor the emotion, and then maybe ask Mary to kiss the face of God for you.

[Thank you to Caitlin Kennell Kim of Busted Halo  for the inspiration and for many of the words I have used.]