January 21, 2018
Dear Parish Family,
We have entered to “Ordinary” time. Of course, I’m referring to Ordinary Time in the Church’s liturgical calendar. As I was quickly informed in my first year in New Orleans, “Father, in New Orleans there’s no such thing as ordinary time!”
Advent, Christmas, New Year’s, Epiphany and the Baptism of the Lord have already been celebrated for this liturgical year. We now return to the day to day life of the Church hopefully invigorated with what we have recently experienced with everything surrounding the birth and early life of Our Lord. We shift now, in a sense, from being observers of the early Christ-centered events of our faith to being the active disciples of the Lord called to proclaim that faith.
What will that mean in my own life and possibly in the life of St. Alphonsus Parish in 2018? Well, time will tell. We do know that here will be numerous opportunities to express our faith in people and events that will surface as well as those opportunities we least expect that will call us to exercise discipleship.
While such opportunities for each of us will differ, I would like to humbly ask all of us to seriously consider ways we can exercise our discipleship by being responsive to the needs of your parish.
Please don’t get me wrong. You are already performing many acts of discipleship for which we are very grateful. What we sometimes lack, however, are people who have organizational skills and are willing to take the lead in various activities. No, it’s not always easy to lead but sometimes God calls us to step up to the plate to use the gifts he has given us. My experience with attending many parish related meetings is if people feel nothing is being accomplished at a meeting they are less likely to return for the next meeting.
With that in mind I hope that all of us can see the year ahead as a blank canvas on which we can decide what we want to happen and how we will help it happen. We know by this time that many things never get off the ground unless we make the effort. In turn, others will sometimes witness our dedication and this will encourage them to step up to the plate as well.
Is there any “ordinary time” in New Orleans? You and I will decide that. If ordinary means the same things being done by the same people in the same way, then St. Alphonsus Parish will truly experience ordinary time which as I’ve stated above is not bad at all. But our involvement along with others can move something from ordinary to extraordinary. Imagine what that might look like! Yes, let the good times roll!
Thought for the Week: “Bored again? Be born again!” Have a great week ahead!