Deacon’s Beacon: Answering Jesus’ Call

Posted on August 24, 2021 by Published by

Answering Jesus’ Call

In the early stages of the parish revitalization program (“To teach who Christ is”) one of the questions asked of the participants was – “Is your parish a “Maintenance Church” or a “Missionary Church”? I thought – “How can we answer that question?” But we have to answer that question if we wish to remain relevant in people’s lives and use the talents that God has given us.

So, I thought that the best place to start is to look at Jesus’ message in the gospels and see how are we doing – in our world, two thousand years later. I would start by looking at last Sunday’s gospel. Jesus’ message in that reading was difficult for many to accept; even some of His disciples were leaving Him. Jesus turned to the apostles and asked, “Do you want to leave?” Peter responded, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” That was a moment when “the rubber hits the road” for Peter and the other apostles. Who would they follow? Obviously we know the answer to that question.

What is it that Jesus asked of them and asks of us today, in our world? We find the answer in Jesus’ words – “I came not to be served, but to serve.” His message consistently was that we are all God’s children and we’re expected to share with those in need. That message is in this Sunday’s gospel when Jesus tells the Pharisees and scribes that they honor God with their lips, but do not worship with their hearts. In today’s Second Reading, we are told, “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.”

How can we be doers and not only hearers? In addition to our Sunday celebration of the Eucharist, OLW offers many ministry opportunities. They are highlighted in the weekly bulletin, online, and on Wayside Wednesday and other social media sites.

Our Lady of the Wayside offers many ministries that provide opportunities for all of us to share our Time, Talents, and Treasures with people in need.

Here are a few of the Care & Outreach ministries:

  • Respect Life – All of our ministries start with a respect for all life – from conception to natural death. To quote words frequently used by the late Cardinal Bernardin, “The seamless garment.” We are currently seeking volunteers for the ministry. Our belief in the respect of life guides us into many others:

St. Mark’s Sharing Activities

  • Food Pantry – On the second Sunday of every month parishioners and neighbors are encouraged to drop a collection of nonperishable food at the parish garage. There are opportunities to share in the collection and delivery; and contributing food.
  • St. Mark’s Christmas Giving Tree – For several decades we have been providing Christmas gifts and cheer in the name of Jesus Christ to St. Mark parishioners.
  • Ministers of Care – This ministry focuses on visitation and bringing the Holy Eucharist to sick and ailing parishioners.
  • SPRED Program – To accompany people with special needs on their spiritual journey through sharing in a small group environment.

Many other ministries: Domestic Abuse Ministry; Meals on Wheels; PADS; Shawl Ministry; Bereavement Ministry; St. Vincent DePaul, to name a few.

If you have questions, please contact me – otherwise…

See you at the Ministry Fair, Sunday, September 12, from 10:00 am — Noon, in the OLW Parking Lot!

Deacon Tom


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