Posted by: Peadar Ban | September 30, 2010

What Could Be More Attractive?

As I write these words in the kitchen it is the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.  Okay, so most of us have at least heard of him … However, tomorrow is the Feast of St. Wenceslaus.  I’ll bet most of us don’t know much more about him than that his name is the title of a song sung at Christmas time; and not sung very often, any longer.  Raise your hand if you are surprised to learn King Wenceslaus was a real person!  And, here’s a link that tells about him, and the example he is for us all.

These two feasts come at a point in the year when our Holy Mother Church has done a peculiar thing.  For almost the entire past two weeks the Office of Readings (part of the Liturgy of the Hours, something Vatican II suggested lay people should be encouraged to learn about praying) has given us the gift of daily excerpts from a sermon by St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor, on pastors. Or, in other words, shepherds, and what it means to be a good one.  Both the saints I mentioned above lived the kind of life St. Augustine must have had in mind when he wrote his sermon!   Both served their sheep, one as a priest and one as a layman.  A funny thing occurred to me when I thought about them, their lives, and their “twinning” by the Spirit thus in the liturgical year, on two successive days.

“Feed my sheep,” Jesus said to St. Peter.  Just a few days ago the latest in that line coming down centuries from St. Peter spoke about the church and said, “When the Church tries to be attractive she has lost her way… We SERVE Someone else…”   That “Someone” whom we serve is called the Lamb of God.

Recently Father Kelley encouraged us to think about these words pf the Holy Father.  Well, I have been thinking, and this is what is beginning to form in my mind:   I think Sts. Vincent and Wenceslaus are in the calendar to illustrate for us by their lives and examples what is truly “attractive” about a life of service!  This life of service is for everyone; a faith-full life that is not bounded by the tolling of the bells at the beginning and end of one hour on one day of the week.

And that causes me to wonder who and where is my flock.  My spouse?  My children? Those with whom I work?  The many who send letters asking for money each month, and for prayers?  My home parish with all its many needs and requests?
Ah, what a grace to look at them all with new eyes and wonder how God invites me to serve … in all, Himself.
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