Last month at LIGHT we took a hard look at Ordinary Time and found that it is the season of the year when we get to know Jesus better through the Gospel readings that we hear at Mass. We learn about his life and ministry through the eyes of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These three evangelizers help us to know Jesus (who is the Light) from all different angles, and as we concluded, we must know the Light of Jesus in order to be a Light for others. Well, I am so proud to say that during this past week, our MidSacrament kids were the Light for many!
This year’s Soup-a-Bowl was a success. We raised $500 for the McAuley House to help them fight hunger in our local area. But the success reached much further than that. Our kids learned that they are part of a bigger picture. They explored how far reaching hunger is, but also how close it is to them.
That is a great outcome, but I saw more than that in our Parish Hall during our two days of service. I saw kids being a part of our parish community. They didn’t stand around idle. I was asked multiple times each minute, ‘What can I do?’ They wanted to work. They wanted to participate. They wanted to do their part. And they did it very well.
Our kids hunger to help, to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and that is exactly what parish life is all about. Jesus founded this church on a foundation of community. We are meant to live and work with others. This is how we are able to be the Light for others. Giving our kids opportunities to do this is a gift that they shouldn’t be denied.
As parents, we work so hard to give our kids good experiences: on sports teams, in school clubs, through the arts, by being involved in our neighborhoods and community life. These opportunities offer a lot in the way of friendship, of learning discipline, of service to others, and of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. They are of tremendous value to our kids and to our families. But at the end of the day, these groups are fleeting.
Involvement in parish life goes deeper and is much further reaching. It has permanence. It too offers a lot in the way of friendship, of learning discipline, of service to others, and of being a part of something bigger than ourselves. But it does more. Kids who know the value of being a part of a church community will always have a home, no matter where they go. They will know how to interact with people of all ages. They will understand their place in the world, the bigger picture, how they are called to serve others as Jesus did. And they will recognize that they are not alone when they do.
Thank you MidSacrament parents for helping your kids to take part in parish life this weekend! You gave them a tremendous gift. They learned a lot about hunger and they took action. They played an active role in a church event and they experienced how they can contribute to parish life. They learned more about the Light and they were the Light!!
They lived Ordinary Time very well!