Discipleship of Talent: being the Church is building a home of love in our self-centered and lonely world
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This weekend, we are taking another big step in our discipleship journey. It is our Discipleship of Time and Talent commitment weekend, in which we answer to God’s love by sharing our God-given time, gifts and talents with each other, towards the building of His Kingdom in our community. Discipleship is a profound spirituality, that is, a way to get closer to God. God wants us to love by giving our talents to others in a broad range of interests, ministries, needs and concerns: youth and seniors, catechesis and evangelization, the hungry and the needy, liturgy and hospitality, marriage and the family, sacraments and faith formation. These are all opportunities we have at Queen of Peace to share the gifts God has given us to steward, by saying yes to serving God and His Church, yes to loving our neighbor as ourselves, as St. Paul says in today’s second reading. Jesus not only calls us to Him but also forms us and sends us out in His service. He does not tell us to follow Him at some time in the future, but here and now—at this moment, in these circumstances. There can be no delay for us at Queen of Peace.
Currently, giving God our time and talent to serve His Church is more important than ever for Queen of Peace. We are getting ready to finish building God’s house. Nearly two decades ago, our brothers and sisters built the dining room of our parish, the place where we nourish ourselves with Christ’s Body and Blood- our beautiful church. Now, it is time to build the rest of our home - a home where we can encounter Christ, grow in faith, serve the poor, welcome the stranger, and be a place of love in the middle of a self-centered and lonely world. This home, our new parish center, is a need for us, for our youth and seniors, for those preparing for the sacraments, and for those around us that haven’t yet met Christ.
Think about your own home, where you live with your family. I am sure each family member contributes to building up the home in his and her own way - maybe financially, keeping it clean, even the children may have small chores they are responsible for. In the same way, everyone in our parish family needs to be invested in this building project. It is not the project of a few, but of the entire community. It’s important not just for the project, but for our faith. Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Mt 18:20).
We cannot live and grow in our Catholic faith on our own, without belonging and being part of a concrete community of persons, our parish family, chosen by God, to lead us to the love of Christ. Faith joins us both to each other as individuals and to the community of Jesus’ followers, in intimacy with our Lord, and it leads us to live as his disciples. Union with Christ gives rise to love, charity, solidarity and common cause between the disciples and the Lord and among the disciples themselves. As Catholics, we have a duty to be stewards of the parish of which we, individually and together, are the members.
I invite you all to take seriously this Discipleship of Time and Talent weekend. The Lord has given us all unique gift and talents. What will we do with them? Will we use them for our own self-centered benefit? To gratify ourselves? To gain success? Or will we use them to build up His Kingdom and the salvation of many souls? Only the latter path leads to true happiness.
Father Felix P. Medina-Algaba,