Thursday, May 24, 2012


No matter what name we give it, volunteerism, involvement; it is a very large part of any Catholic Parish. The number of people that are involved on Sunday alone is phenomenal. There is a rather famous place that I fish at the Navajo Dam on the San Juan River; below lake … surprisingly there is a little chapel near the river. This is not just an “out of the way place”. It is remote! Unless you knew about the monster trout that await your torment there would be no reason to go there.

But seemingly just like everywhere else in the world there is a Catholic church there. The priests come from Aztec or Farmington and volunteers do everything from cleaning up the little “five man cemetery”, doing the readings and providing some hospitality. Sometimes the chapel is open for Sunday Mass, sometimes not. I do not know the whole story but it obvious that without volunteers the Sunday morning offering would not be made.

The same is true for us. There is something to be done and if we are unwilling, it is not done. I suppose that God would make up the difference for us if he chose to. After all, God can do anything. The fact that he does not is just as telling as when he does. The Blessed Mother of Jesus received a visit from a good angel who announced the Birth of the Savior. The announcement was like a question that required her response. She was free to say no.

This is a fundamental building block of the Church. God does not force us to agree to his plans. We can say no, although the consequences are somewhat terrifying. To say “no” to God is to turn our back on him, to lose the possibility of overwhelming good. It does not seem reasonable that things could come down to this. Logically it is the only way something good can come into our life, to come in the form of a choice. But there is a very practical side to this. It has to do with little kids and pages about the Mass that they color and that come to life in the love and mystery of the Mass. Or there is food to bag up; or things that are needed for the refugee resettlement program. The list is very long and involves things that happen every day and some that are rare and very wonderful. In order for that good to spread through the parish there is one critical ingredient to the mix. It is your willingness to help, to say yes.

Please consider helping in our parish. There is much to be done.

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