At the Second Vatican Council, the document on the laity in the Church referred to the laity as "Called and Gifted." The U.S. Bishops composed a document to mark the 25th anniversary of the Vatican document, with a letter of the same name. It spoke about the responsibilities and the obligations of the Church, and of the laity, who make up the Church. By our Baptism we are consecrated as Priest, Prophet, and King. As in yesterdays Gospel Jesus sends out disciples two by two, we are also sent out through the sacraments of initiation, and at the conclusion of every Liturgy. "Go forth to love and serve the Lord."
Our fourth grade 'did' the Liturgy today. They sang, some played instruments (and very well I might add) composed and proclaimed the general intercessions, and lector-ed. At the P.O.G. before the bread and wine were brought up, the student body brought forward canned food for the food pantry. At the end of the liturgy we honored the teachers with a blessing and a small gift. This is really Church. Now if the young'ins can maintain that same sense of excitement and desire to participate into adulthood, what Church we will have.
But that is that understanding that Church is not just parading around the altar, it is the proclamation of the gospel, living moral lives, caring for the sick and needy, and feeding the hungry. This is just to name a few. Sometimes I wonder if we expect too little from ourselves and from our Church. John the Baptist, who we read about today, had no problem in telling the King that he was living an immoral life. Maybe we should not worry about hurting others feelings as much and proclaim the truth.
At St. M/M in Algonquin, there used to be a small group called, "Friday Night Alive." It was a group of young couples, who realized their bar hopping days were over, who studied scripture. A pot-luck supper, built-in babysitters, and a bible. They were doing theology. We have a small group here at St. Mary's that has begun to compose the general intercessions. A true ministry in our parish. They were doing Church.