Rebuilding Our Church
"The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the Holy Spirit it grew in numbers."
This passage from the early Church gives me hope, especially in this discouraging time when many people, particularly youth and young adults, do not come to Church. It may be alarming and fatalistic to say that there is an exodus of young people leaving the Church nowadays. Still, the fact is that even here at Incarnation Church, we are not seeing numerous youth attending Sunday Mass.
We have dozens of youth in the Confirmation program, some of them are about to be confirmed next week, but we do not see them all at Sunday Mass. Parents say it’s because of many competing values.
As I’ve said many times, I don’t want to be fatalistic; raise my hands and say, “It is what it is.” I’d instead take the challenge and lead with a solid apostolic and missionary spirit. I’d say, “Let’s rebuild the Church then if it is breaking!”
Are you with me on this? Yes, let’s rebuild the Church!
It may take a lot of effort, energy, creativity, wisdom, and teamwork, but we can do it. It’s because we believe that just as the early Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit to be spread the Christian faith and grow in numbers, we too will not do it without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Two non-negotiable things are required to lead in the Holy Spirit. We have to soak ourselves in prayer and encourage each other through the prophetic and life-giving words of God.
We can’t lead without prayer. And this means praying together and for one another more intentionally without hesitation or embarrassment. It can happen while talking at a parking lot, walking together along a trail path, or going for a drive.
I would like to see people in Church before and after Mass stretching their hands on each other in prayer, asking for God’s blessings.
We’ll also have to practice testifying more to God’s power in our lives. This means having laypeople speak in front of fellow parishioners to share personal stories of blessings and miracles. People have to hear the work of the Holy Spirit in our world today.
If we keep doing these tasks of praying and testifying together, we’ll see the fruits of our efforts. Why? It’s because of what Jesus has promised us today’s Gospel (John 15:1-8).
“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.”
Your loving pastor,
One Design License
Incarnation Catholic Church
on Friday, April 30 at 6:30PM