We are to share not our thoughts and words, but His Word and Mission of Salvation.

10-02-2022Letters From Fr. BrianRev. Brian F. Manning

It is clear from the Gospel of today that Jesus also foresaw the possibility that the faith of his followers would come unraveled when he was no longer physically present. The long-distance of time would disconnect His Life and Message for some folks and groups down through the many centuries of Christianity. Pride and privilege, not only for church clerics and hierarchy, but for all of us; are often the result when what Jesus had hoped for us to be as His devoted servants offering dedicated and worthy service to others. As found in the Gospel story, much like the apostles, we can let our faith run down especially when we need to pray to increase it.

In our first reading at Mass, the author Habakkuk does not portray a very beautiful picture of the world in which he was living; instead, we learn that desolation, destruction, and ruin surrounded him. Habakkuk did nothing but complain about all this; he did not attempt to improve it at all. Instead, he got angry at God and told Him so. He demanded that God do something about it. God heard Habakkuk’s cries and God promised that, despite what may appear at the moment, God’s will be done. Note that God also demanded, faith in Him be lived out by them really and practically. God demanded that His faithful people recognize that they can live even in a world beset by evil without being overcome by evil itself.

Luke’s Gospel passage of this weekend has Jesus addressing His disciples about the dangers and problems which can arise within the faith community. He talked about sins that can disturb and shatter the faith of the “little ones” who are actually, lowly. The lowly are the powerless of the community. In this passage, He also told them that they must forgive each other for the minor moral offenses and wrongdoings that happen day to day in life.

In our Gospel, Jesus suddenly addressed the apostles, who are authority figures in the faith community. He reminded them that all the flocks and fields of life belong to God, not to them. Jesus told them that he expected them to be faithful, honest and hardworking servants. They are not to be elites or snobs. They are not entitled to special honors or rewards for what they do. They are, in fact, privileged to be able to serve the community. The table and meal image that Jesus used reminded them that fuss over status and prestige has no place at that table.

As a Church, we have no meaning or purpose without our belief in Jesus the Christ; we have no power without his Spirit. All of us who serve in the church whether as hierarchy, clerics, religious, paid lay staff or volunteers do so at the service of the sacred person who is Jesus Christ. We are to recognize that we are Christ’s representative to people. Oftentimes we forget who we really are and what our mission is. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are to share not our thoughts and words, but His Word and Mission of Salvation.