LATEST MESSAGE SERIES—WATCHING TV
This weekend I conclude my latest message series (homily series) called “THIS PARISH HAS TALENT”. If you missed any of the series please go to our family of parishes website (www.chathamcatholic.ca) and click on the link on the main page. The series itself is based on the television series America’s Got Talent or the Canadian version called Canada’s Got Talent.
I got the idea for the series one night as I was flipping through the channels looking for something to watch after a long and productive day. I stopped at a special GODLEN BUZZER edition of America’s Got Talent where Simon Cowell and Terry Crews reflected on the most powerful performances over the last number of seasons. Most of the GOLDEN BUZZER moments involved people overcoming great obstacles to share who they were with the world. They were not really interested in the prize money or fame, but just being accepted and appreciated for who God made them to be. It made me pause and think about how Jesus calls each of us to share who we are and what we have to transform the world—Jesus needs each and everyone one of us to make this happen.
RECURRING THEMES IN THE SERIES
There have been four major themes that have shaped my reflections over the three homilies:
- Everyone has unique God given gifts
- To develop, grow and fulfill our gifts, they must be shared
- Our family of parishes relies on people sharing their gifts
- We need everyone to help rebuild our family of parishes after the pandemic
There is no question that we as a family of parishes need everyone involved, invested and committed to sharing our God-given talents and abilities for the sake of others—especially the poor, homeless, lonely and forgotten. This is a challenging but also a powerful time of grace and opportunity for us to be faithful disciples living the Good News!
HOMILY #1 – GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
In the first homily I introduced the series and explained the GOLDEN BUZZER moments in the television series. I referred to the readings for that weekend which reminded us that we have to seek divine things rather than human things. God’s plans for us are always the best path to embrace. This invites us to reflect on what we spend our time and money on in our daily lives. That which we invest time and resources in is what we hold closest to our hearts. Does this include Christ and the parish?
We were also reminded to always be ready to serve where needed. We can’t always plan what to expect but need to react and trust in the Lord like Abraham and Sarah, who travelled to a foreign land to become a new nation dedicated to God.
HOMILY #2 – SET ON FIRE
In the second homily of the series I talked about how Jesus longs to set us on fire to live, share and inspire the Good News in others. Christ came to challenge us not to sit on the fence but to choose who we will follow. We cannot be lukewarm but must make a decision each day to embrace Christ and the Gospel or live our own way. One gives life and the other ends in disappointment.
How can we be inspired and encouraged to share the Gospel? We simply need to look at the lives of the saints and those amazing parishioners who are powerful models of faith right here and right now. There are so many people who offer their lives and share their talents to help build the kingdom. They are the saints of today!!
HOMILY #3 – A TIME FOR ACTION
This weekend I conclude the message series with a challenge for all of us to respond, serve and share our lives in the family of parishes. Only together can we support each other, grow our faith community and bring people closer to Christ who is the only source of joy.
This is most needed now as we seek to rebuild following the pandemic—becoming stronger, more passionate and with renewed grace sharing the joy and love of Jesus in everything we do. The great news is that there is a lot of work to do—so there is enough to keep everyone very busy. In order for us to do this we need to be mindful of the following:
- Have a strong personal prayer life
- Discover the gifts God has given us to share
- Look for opportunities to serve others
- Make time in our schedules for ministry/service
- Reflect on our experiences of grace
- Invite others to join you in service