/ / From the pastor’s desk—Jan. 16, 2022

From the pastor’s desk—Jan. 16, 2022

Fr. Ray Smith, CMF
Parochial administrator

Dear Sacred Heart Family,

This weekend as we remember the life of Martin Luther King Jr, it is a
great time to remember his timeless words, “Everybody can be
great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love

Even though he was black, and I am white, or He was Baptist, and I am Catholic, our common Christianity is our best bridge and a reminder that God lives in each one of us. These words remind me that there is more that unites us than divides us. In these days of polarization and divisiveness, this is our best path forward to not forget what God has united should never be divided.

I am convinced the best memorial we can give to Dr King this week is not more marches or speeches (though sometimes these are necessary to introduce the next generation to him) but a deep living of his call to serve. Service is the singular act that unites one person or group to another. The seed of service begins when we take a moment to reflect what it is like to walk in another’s shoes. This seed grows when we let compassion, the most tender face of love, stir us into action. Service, as such, is that action by which our hearts and hands bond with another in their need.

Most of us at one time or another have had the desire to serve but we didn’t know where to start. The obvious path of service is to look at one’s talents/gifts. Whenever God gives us a gift or talent, it is for us to serve others with, it is not for ourselves. When you have a good speaking or singing voice but keep it to yourself, the community loses out. When you have mechanical or computer skills but keep them to yourself, our families and neighbors suffer. When you love people but are deterred to put it into action, our Church is less of a witness.

The second path of service is to look at the unmet needs of our world or injustices that speak to one’s heart. The fact you think about one cause more than another may be pointing you to where you are called to serve. If you think about the unmet needs of our youth and that someone should do something about that, maybe that someone is you. If you think of how hard it must be for homeless people in the winter, this is likely a call to help in our cold weather shelter.

Of course, service takes discernment through prayer and reflection where we put our ego in check and ask “God, what do you want me to do? because I may want to sing in the choir, I have the desire, but I don’t have the talent. Service is like the mustard seed, it may start as the smallest of seeds, but with love and the grace of God it is the greatest of plants in God’s Garden.

With a heart for Mission,
Fr. Ray