Our lives have changed in many ways and now we learn we will not gather as a Faith Community for some time. It is a good time to remind ourselves that the Church is the People of God – US! Each one of us a member of the Body of Christ. How can we continue to practice our faith without gathering in one place? For every household, let us consider these: Pray “Pray without ceasing; give thanks in all circumstances” 1 Thessalonians 5.17
Set up a prayer table with a cloth or scarf, a cross or crucifix, a Bible or Prayer Book.
Decide personally or as a family when you will gather to pray: morning, evening, other?
See the website for the parish bulletin and the daily Scripture Readings.
Take turns reading Scripture aloud engaging those of all ages.
Ask each person what they would like to pray for this day.
Ask each what they are thankful for this day.
Ask all to share a time of silence (age appropriate in length).
Pray the Our Father to complete your Prayer Time.
Pray before all meals and at bedtime.
Serve “Serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” 1 Peter 4.10 Many people, especially the elderly and those who live alone are not able to or fear going out of their homes at this time. Consider these if you and/or your family are able:
Check in on your extended family members, neighbors, elderly friends or those who live alone.
Let them know you are thinking about them. Children can also make these calls.
Encourage children of all ages to write notes, draw pictures, etc. to send by mail or email.
Offer to pick up groceries for those who cannot get out.
Get lists by phone, then let them know when you have placed it at their door. No need for personal contact.
When on the phone, ask if you can pray with them, then do so. Together, pray for all who are sick and for all health care workers.
Send notes to hospital and nursing home staffs thanking them for their work. Share “Let all that you do be done in love.”
1 Corinthians 16.14
Work together to share household tasks.
Assist your children, brothers and sisters with homework.
Engage all members of the family in preparing meals.
Take out old photos and share family stories. Pray for those in the pictures.
Share family history, draw a family tree.
Have conversations about what makes you most happy or what you most fear.
Above all, share love.
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise.” Martha said to
him, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last
day.” Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and
everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
This conversation between Jesus and Martha, the sister of Lazarus, a dear friend of Jesus who laid dead in his tomb, was meant for us to hear. Isn’t it amazing that we learn from the words of Jesus more that 2000 years after he spoke them? This to me is proof of the “Living Word” of God. God is present to us in our hearing this account of the Gospel proclaimed. We draw life and hope and comfort from these words today and God’s people will do so for all time to come.
How blessed are we?! Our belief in Jesus Christ secures our place in eternity for by his Word; whoever lives in and believes in him will never die. That is the incredible gift made known to us as believers by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. As we move through Lent, it is good that we are reminded of the promises Christ made to all people of all time while he walked with us on this earth. It almost seems unreal that Jesus – God was present to his people in the flesh, walking with and living among his people. Yet this was God’s plan, God’s plan for how we, as his people would be saved. It is a plan that assured the path to being one with God forever was laid out for us. What an incredible gift!
What does it take for you to believe something? Do you need to see it, feel it, experience it? God certainly knows the answer to that question for each one of us. We as followers of Jesus Christ are called to live our faith in such a way that others might see God’s presence, feel it or experience it through us. When we love one another in the way that Jesus taught us, we not only gain grace for ourselves, but we assist in others coming to know Jesus Christ and thereby receiving along with us the gift of salvation and eternal life. Showing our love for others, bringing them to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, is a profound responsibility for all Christians. The promise that we are made strong enough and courageous enough to love God’s people, comes from the gift received in our baptism in Jesus Christ; the presence of the Holy Spirit with us always.
Thank you, Jesus, for inviting us to share in your life and your Resurrection. Grateful for your love and your incredible plan for our salvation, renew in our hearts a desire to be Christ for others. Be with us as we go forth to serve one another in your name that all might come to know the promise of life eternal. In your name we pray. Amen.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC