Last night a group of us in the parish gathered to meet and chat and pray with Scripture together. We reflected on the Gospel for this upcoming Sunday. Several different thoughts were shared but the idea that grabs my attention today is how the crowd in Luke's Gospel goes from being amazed at Jesus' 'gracious words' to being so angry with his challenging words that they want to hurl him off a cliff. That's a pretty drastic shift!!
We've been talking too about what it means to be a disciple...to be someone who doesn't just listen to the Word on Sunday...but to be someone who is inspired to DO, to ACT, to really deliberately live out ones faith in action. We're talking about how to inspire our brothers and sisters who sit next to us each Sunday in these pews, to step more deeply into their faith and be strong enough to invite others to walk this faith walk with them.
We have had the pleasure of talking one on one with some of our young families about how they try to live their lives of faith in the world. What an inspiration you are! And our teens...I'm so proud of who they are growing to be...young people who are finding their rightful place in our assembly! Young people who aren't ashamed to say "I like coming to Mass now...I feel more comfortable here... I understand what's going on now..." How I wish we could get them to witness to the rest of the assembly!
So as I look at the reaction of that crowd to Jesus, it makes me a bit nervous. I don't think human nature has changed all that much. If I were to ask us to think about what our faith really means to us once we walk out the church doors, if we were to look at how we offer our selves in service to others, both here at St Francis and in our work lives daily, would we be proud of our answer?
Everything we do as a parish should find its roots in our prayer together as a Eucharistic community. We know that in our heads, but sometime we fail at putting that belief into action. So, I want to be brave enough to ask you... have YOU found your place in this community yet? What are YOU doing to help others find a welcome here? How are YOU helping to 'set the table' both literally and figuratively?? And if you haven't decided to step up and serve in some way at Mass on Sundays, then WHY haven't you? What are you waiting for? You know we need you. You know we value you. What's stopping you?
And even as I ask these questions I think about how that crowd wanted to hurl Jesus down a cliff because they didn't want to be challenged out of their comfort zone.
So, with a deep breath...I challenge you!