These Little Wonders

Archive for July 2008

Building Our Faith in Community

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OKAY I know I said I’ll go pack. But I got this via e-mail a while ago and thought I should share it ‘cos it really spoke to me!

Today’s the Feast Day of St. Thomas the Apostle. The first reading’s from Ephesians, the Gospel’s from John.

Ephesians 2:19-22
Brothers and sisters:
You are no longer strangers and sojourners,
but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones
and members of the household of God,
built upon the foundation of the Apostles and prophets,
with Christ Jesus himself as the capstone.
Through him the whole structure is held together
and grows into a temple sacred in the Lord;
in him you also are being built together
into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

John 20:24-29
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But Thomas said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Building Our Faith in Community

Today’s first reading tells us that you and I are members of the same kingdom — a “country” whose residents include saints in heaven as well as the family (“household”) of God that still lives on earth. With citizenship comes certain responsibilities.

St. Paul says, “You form a building.” The foundation is the apostles and prophets; the cornerstone is Jesus. Which part of the building are you?

Are you already deeply involved in ministry? You’re a pillar. Are you covering what others do with your prayers or financial support? You’re the roof. Or maybe you’re a window, through which others look in and realize that they want to join the Church, or a window sill upon which people lean as they look for God. Maybe you’re a fireplace, warming others to the idea of having faith in God, or one of the bricks in the fireplace that keeps danger from spreading.

Are you a carpet that gives comfort to feet that have been walking on hard roads? Are you an altar because of the sacrifices you make for others? Are you a chair that gives others rest? Are you a keyhole that unlocks the love of God in people’s hearts? Are you a crystal chandelier shedding the light of truth and giving it a wonderful sparkle? Are you a telephone that helps others connect to God?

Imagine what this building would be like without you. You are needed, my friend! You are very important. There are never enough telephones and chandeliers and soft carpets, etc., for all those who visit or live in the Church.

Many try to live on the outside, thinking they can have a good relationship with God without being part of the Christian community. Some only visit and don’t help with the chores. And some complain that the building’s too large and that nobody reaches out to them.

However, the only way to experience the support and love of God’s household is to get involved. This is how we become a “holy temple in the Lord” rather than a bunch of unconnected people who profess the same faith yet remain strangers. If it seems like the Church has cracks in it, it’s because some of the construction materials are missing.

By our love for each other and collaboration, we are “being built into this temple, to become a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit.” This is how faith grows. Notice that, in today’s Gospel reading, Thomas overcame his doubts while in community. Although Thomas had missed Christ’s first appearance, Jesus did not go to him and appear to him alone. Jesus waited until Thomas rejoined the community.

Never underestimate how very important you are to the community life of your Church!

Written by Pamela

July 3, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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Off to Sydney as a Pilgrim!

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“G’day Mate!”

Haha okay I shall not be lame and cut to the chase!

In a little more than 24 hours, I’ll be on my way to the airport to meet my fellow pilgrims. And soon after we’ll be embarking on our pilgrimage to Sydney along with millions of other Catholic youths from literally all over the world! The past couple of months really have flown by. I can’t believe we leave tomorrow!

So yes, I’ll be gone and back late in the night on the 22nd. Even with all the spiritual preparation that we’ve been doing, I still kinda don’t know what to expect from this pilgrimage. One thing I’m sure about, though, is that I want this to be a God experience – to really feel His presence and be inspired to share the light of Christ with the people around me!

The actual programme for WYD begins on the 15th, so from the 5th till a few days before WYD begins we’ll be conducting our Service Experiment in Blue Mountains. I hear we’ll be staying in what used to be a monastery, so I reckon it’ll be a very quiet and tranquil environment – wonderful for prayer and contemplation!

No points for guessing: I HAVEN’T PACKED. Haven’t even come close to deciding what bag(s) I should bring. Which also means I should probably not be sitting here. I SHOULD BE PACKING!

I really really hope I can leave everything that’s been distracting me and pulling me away from God right here. Haven’t even settled all my uni stuff yet. But I really cannot afford to take any of these worries with me to Sydney! If anything at all, this pilgrimage is gonna be between me and my God!

In the meantime, take care everyone (or anyone who still bothers coming here, actually)! Will be back recharged and all fired up with the Spirit!

Written by Pamela

July 3, 2008 at 4:31 pm

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