The parish in which I serve as a deacon has been blessed with a strong attendance at our Sunday services. However, a good number of our congregants are getting on in years; there will come a time when they will no longer be with us. And I do not see many young people joining us. This situation is becoming common throughout this country; this is true in Europe. There has been a call for a “New Evangelization;” but what does that mean?
There is already out there a plethora of programs, “how to” books, DVD’s and CD’s; all offering an approach that is sure to draw new members. Most are based on experiences of pastors, lay teachers, and other speakers. And many of them are fine, and may offer a short term solution. However, no approach will offer long term success, if it does not awaken a passion for God; a passion for the Word and Sacrament; a passion to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, right here,right now. To ignite that passion, and more importantly, sustain it; we must open ourselves the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Have a passion for reading and meditating on Scripture frequently, let it speak to us, let it excite us, let it inspire us. Then, be passionate in prayer, both as an individual, and as part of a worshiping Eucharistic community. Because, only in Christ, will we experience the great love of the Father for ea h of us. Only in Christ, will we find the strength to change our lives. And through the Holy Spirit, will we receive the grace which set our hearts on fire.
It is then that we will have the passion to go out and “make disciples of all nations.” However, most of us will not be called to preach with words, but by actions. Like Francis of Assisi, we must have within us, a passion for healing the sick; giving care to those stressed out by life; welcoming the stranger. In other words, we must be passionate about giving mercy to a suffering, alienated society. We may be called in many different and various ways to do this; we may not be very good at it at first, but it only takes small steps, that will grow into bigger steps.
The first followers of Jesus, inflamed by the Holy Spirit, were passionate for living and proclaiming the Good News. And they drew thousands into the faith. Let us have the courage to become flame, to become passionate for Christ; and see what miracles we can achieve!
One thought on “Passionate for the Way of the Lord!”
I see the truth in what you have written. So many elderly in all the churches we have visited my husband and I. Many I’m afraid are still going with the same old, same old format. The Passion and fire of the Spirit some how must be rekindled. With this FIRE like the early church had which allowed them to survive martyrdom etc but never lose faith and the wonder of being a Christian – a follower. Without the fire the Word becomes just learning and our glorious Saviour reduced to being – a man of history. Perhaps its sacrificial prayer needed. Many churches in your country are passionate people of the Word but sadly do not have the FIRE. Many are passionate people of the Sacrament and this sustains their life but does not inspire the young. Each generation must have their own personal Pentecost, I believe. How? Fervent Prayer I believe for a fresh outpouring of the Spirit particularly in the glorious Church that has the history, the beauty and the holiness of Word and Sacrament. God the Holy Spirit must again be seen as WHO He really is. God Head…..Father , Son, Holy Spirit……Lord God Almighty! a-men. O Lord in these days may Christ be seen as WHO HE really is and the Holy Spirit as Divine and Holy One of the Trinity. Thanks for blog. inspiring.