Without This… Ministry is Impossible
Devotional Thought of the Day:
2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:2-7 (NLT2)
The power of love is a service that resurrects what is destroyed, no matter how much it is so. Its unattainable and unquestionable source is God’s loving fatherhood/motherhood.
951 To be in charge of an apostolic undertaking means being ready to suffer everything, from everybody, with infinite charity.
We live in a broken world, and before I arrived at work today, there was proof, News from my hometown, from the very street I grew up on, was devastating. Been in the office for a little bit, and the challenges people are facing continue to mount.
Some of the trauma is self-inflicted, the problems of sins committed. Others are medical or simply nature. But the trauma levels climb.
And in the back of my mind, the words from 1 Corinthians 13 echo, Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
And the words of St Josemaria and Pope Francis reinforce the echo. First that the only hope in the face of brokenness and destruction is the power of God’s love. And that to be sent by God to minister, whether to the mission field, a broken church or to meet a friend for lunch requires this love, this charity (charity and love are synonyms)
Ministry requires loving people in the middle of incredible brokenness. And that love will require sacrifice, it will require being there for the people, in the midst of their pain, sharing it, crying with them, laughing with them, all with the purpose of revealing the love of God to them.
We can’t do that unless we are there.
But for us to be able to love, to be devoted to them as we care and share in their lives takes something we do not have naturally. Infinite love, infinite charity. FOr that only comes to us, and eaves through our lives as we are connected to Christ. As we look to Him and are in awe of His love.
It is that relationship that enables us to minister to our friends, our neighbors, our family, to others in our churches. For all need to know His love for them, for us all. And in knowing that, we are freed to love them.
That is how it happens.
Let it happen, my friends, bask in His love. AMEN!
Pope Francis. (2013). A Year with Pope Francis: Daily Reflections from His Writings. (A. Rossa, Ed.) (p. 271). New York; Mahwah, NJ; Toronto, ON: Paulist Press; Novalis.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 2206-2207). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.