Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Invitation

Do you ever just stop, and look? Do you watch the bubble and the bounce of life spill out of the church each Sunday and swirl and coalesce into sparkling conversations and gentle gestures among the people, young and old, shy or gregarious, after together we have partaken in the Divine Worship of the Mass?

It is a marvel and a delight to me, and I hate to think that some would fail to notice this aspect of our communal life in Christ. This parish has old friendships and new acquaintances in abundance, but in those moments after we have all been in the presence of the Word become Flesh, to dwell among us, and most of us having tasted His sweet, strong life in the Eucharist, we are more open and more united one to another than at any other time of our week.

But this bond lingers and lasts into each of our days, and marks our community with joy and mutual concern that is a precious and beautiful gift. We see it and rejoice in it, even if we cannot identify it. We know that our community here is a wonderful thing, and it gives us strength.

When we have something wonderful, we have a natural desire to share it. Unfortunately, many people who do not share our faith have no idea of our joy. They would never dream of joining us in even the simple acts of fellowship that surround our Communion. Here we find our mission and our mandate.

We are the Body of Christ. That is an amazing reality brought about by our Baptism, Confirmation, and participation in the Holy Eucharist. It gives us power – power over sin and death. It binds us one to another in a bond stronger than simple friendship, stronger even than simply human love.

But you know what? Amazing as that is, it is not enough. Well, it is enough to bring us to salvation, but it is not enough just for us to be the Body of Christ and be done with it. We have to reach out to our brothers and sisters with an invitation to joy. We can offer our individual friendship to our neighbors, and we can also invite them to enjoy the fruits of our friendship in Christ.

Next weekend is one of our best opportunities to show people the love that binds us together as one here at Saint Bernadette, without any question about their belief or practice. We have our magnificent Fall Festival from 1- 5 PM next Sunday, and not only should we all come for this, but everyone should invite a friend, the neighbors, or some coworkers. We will have more fun because of their presence. They will be delighted by the friendly community that rejoices together, even if they don’t notice that our unique rhythm comes from the beat of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Anything good enough to enjoy, is better when we share. Out Fall Festival is this great community at its best. You can’t get people to stop and look unless you first invite them to come and see.

Monsignor Smith