This past Sunday I had a great time at a neighboring parish attending their Bean Bag contest. It was rained out, which created a great opportunity to watch this parish in action. As soon as the rain began parishioners scrambled to bring food, chairs, and tables into the parish hall. It was in that order mind you! Save for the very old and very young, there were no slackers. Everyone helped in some way.
When I was growing up in Rockford, during one particular rainy weekend, we received a call from some of the 'men of the parish.' The Church hall, which sat at the bottom of a hill, was flooding. There had be forty to fifty men, teens, and pre-teens, with mops, buckets, wet-vacs, and anything to move water. It was an action that saved the floor and tables from damage, and it was a great service to the parish.
Today I wonder if we could do that again. Here at St. Mary's our usher population is dwindling, I have a hard time getting lay-people to visit the home bound, and we scurry about in the Fall trying to find catechists. I know that we are very busy now-a-days, but I would think as a parishioner one would want to have some connection to the parish family.
The documents, "Stewardship: A Disciples Response," and "Called and Gifted," invite men and women to a fuller response in parish life. This is our faith community and we want to nourish and nurture it. It is our mandate to share the Good News, something which we cannot do standing against a wall. We take responsibility for our faith and for our parish community. Baptism calls us to a communion with God, and each other. Just as the disciples are sent out to proclaim, the gospel message, we engage in that faithful witness too.
Again we are not talking about coordinating a multi-faceted religious education program. But we are inviting to gather together and respond to the needs and concerns of each other. Sometimes that means lectoring at Liturgy, and other times it means attending a Lenten supper.
Jesus washes the feet of his disciples before they share the Eucharist. He reminds those disciples that what he is doing, they must do for each other.