Be Doers of the Word, Not Hearers Only
Week of August 30, 2015
We have often heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”. In our second reading, we are called to be doers, not just listeners. When I think of our parish, I see a lot of action and activity. I see the dedication of Godparents who open up their homes for four years. I think of the 100 pounds of potatoes being peeled for German Potato Salad by the kitchen crew that had fun while providing an enormous amount of food for us to share at the Feast of St. Anne. I think of the bereavement group that meets with families at their time of need and then welcome them to church when the funeral occurs. I think of music played at Baptisms and a Confirmation retreat that invites parishioners to witness of the goodness of God. Our Parish Council has risen to the challenge as leaders and its members even roll up their sleeves to host events as a team. We are a place where Adult Faith Formation takes on new life by offering events during RE times in order to make it easer for parents to attend.
We are active and alive. But often, the question remains, is it not the same people, a small number volunteers who do everything? Where are the rest? How does it happen and how do we make the first step? The key is to be listeners and doers of God’s Word. It all begins with listening. It all begins with the activities that find themselves in the Word of God. I can fill up my day with a lot of busyness and pat myself on the shoulder at the end of the day saying I was really busy. But if my actions are not rooted in the Word, they are just busy for the sake of busy. Actions rooted in the Word of God begin in a different place. When I was hungry you gave me food. When I was thirsty you gave me drink, when imprisoned you visited me, when naked you clothed me. These are the activities of the Word of God. Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is that we love God with all of our heart and all of our being, and love our neighbor as well. Rooted in the Word of God is the activity of prayer. Rooted in the activity of the Word of God are adoration and the celebration of the Sacraments. These are sacred activities, rooted in the First Commandment. The second of loving our neighbor and our enemy inspires the compassionate work of many of our ministries.
My parents had a card on their refrigerator of an angel sitting at a microscope in a biology lab. It said a person too busy to pray is busier than God wants him to be. I will always remember that. We live at a breakneck pace. We fill calendars with appointments and activities. The challenge is to ask ourselves if these are from and of God or do they consist of the non-essential stuff of this world. Fill up the calendar with the things of God’s Word. May our actions always begin in the Word of God.
Rev. John J. Ouper