As we look forward to the future of these parishes, we ask God to help us discern what His will is for us as individuals and as a community. Jesus has given us His mission; to bring others closer to Jesus. But what does that mean? It takes time to listen to God and discern the specifics of His plan for us.
Prayer and meditation are the first things we should avail ourselves to. When we come to Mass or adoration, this should be one of our intentions; to discover God’s will for us, especially in this community. Pay attention to what God has put into your heart. Do you find yourself thinking about helping in one way or another while at Mass, adoration or praying the rosary? Can you envision yourself bringing communion to the homebound or helping in the liturgy? Maybe helping the poor? Maybe using your skills in a ministry not yet developed? How is God calling you to participate in this community? What you discern directly affects this community.
Sometimes there is awkwardness in discerning God’s plan. Sometimes as we discern, we might have our own will mixed in. The effect is that our plan may have to be changed or adjusted from time to time to God’s plan. Struggles and things not going our way can be a test of our commitment to God’s will. This struggling gives us the perseverance and constancy in doing God’s will. Are we willing to suffer for the sake of Christ in what we volunteer to do for Him? Tough question. But it is something we have to challenge ourselves with. How dedicated are we going to be to follow him? We all might answer that question differently, based on our values and experience.
We all might have limitations. They might be physical limitations. Maybe we cannot get around like we would like to. This should be evaluated. Maybe we are taking care of someone else or are busy with family life. This can limit our ability just in the time we can spend or in the emotional energy we have. Sometimes God calls us to more than what we think we can give. We may find ourselves doing things we thought we could not do. If we know our limitations, that makes us all the more aware of God’s work in us. We know that we need His help, and His help is what we get.
I invite you to make this evaluation. If there is no evaluation on what to do for Christ, there is no plan on what to do for Christ. If there is no plan, everything else falls apart. As we make this plan for the community, we all need to make a plan for our sanctity. The holiness and inspiration of these parishes depends on the holiness and inspiration of its members. The success of fulfilling our parish mission is dependent on it.
As we look forward for these parishes, what are we willing to do for Christ? Are we willing to struggle for something greater us? Are we willing to accept our calling that is greater than us?