From Deacon Dick
Our Lenten Theme - “Come … pray with us.”
The next time you come to participate in Mass, I invite you to look around and reflect on people you know who are not here, but perhaps would be if only you asked them to come.
Terrance Klein wrote an article recently for the Jesuit publication, America Magazine, entitled: “What to do when you find empty pews.” In this insightful piece, Klein offers some practical suggestion that nicely complement our mission during Lent to invite all persons to “Come …pray with us.”
Klein asks: “Who is not here because they never are? Bring to mind some of those faces and ponder why they are not with us. Who is alienated from us? And why is that so?” He uses a notion of slipping on the rodent wheel of modern life and not being able to catch up.
Here are some practical suggestions to help us answer when the Father asks us: “Where is your brother? Where is your sister?”
- Find them and listen. Most of us just need someone to listen deeply to our story … without questions… without judging … without guilt. All we can do is invite openly.
- Be yourself. We don’t need to have answers or church talking points. If your faith experience has helped transform your life it will show without any verbal convincing.
- Immerse yourself in Christ so that you become the Christ. One time-honored way of this immersion is to step forward to become involved in ministry. Simply review our Weekly Bulletin for opportunities. We can only give away what we have become.
Choose one of the faces you envisioned when you first looked around at Mass. Carry that face to the Lord each time you speak with God. Then envision the faces of those who used to gather around the Table of the Lord on earth, but now rejoice in the fullness of God’s Kingdom. They too gather with us each week. As Terrance Klein says: “Ask these faces, which have gone to glory, to help you as you seek out those beloved faces that have vanished.”
So gather up a handful of “Come … pray with us” cards and become the face of Christ in your world.