Yesterday I received one of those messages that make me cringe as a pastor. It came from a person who likes to tell everyone how much experience they have. They also feel the need to put down everyone around them for not being as smart as they are. They attack those who are actually doing the work of ministry instead of assisting in ministry.
As a pastor, I have learned to ignore most of these messages. I understand the pain they are carrying and the damage that has been done to them that causes them to act in such a way. Despite their vitriolic behavior, I continue to lift them in prayer and hope and pray they find peace.
As catholic Christians it is our calling to pray for those who persecute us. Even those who claim to be our relatives who do not or cannot see our value. And those who wish to do us harm because they are jealous of our success or our willingness to answer the call of the Gospel. We shake the dust from our sandals, pray for them to find peace, and move on down the spiritual path we are on.
Here at Saint Francis Parish, we may never be a mega church like the ones you see on Youtube or television. We may never have the size of ministries and outreaches as many of the churches around us. But what we do have is a huge love for one another and the willingness to help those who need it most.
We are a safe-haven in the storms of life. Our doors are open for all those hurt by other churches. We welcome and support those thrown away by the other churches. It does not matter why those churches sent you away. You are welcome here!
We love everyone without inquiring about whether they are worthy of love or not. Everyone deserves love and the support necessary to be the best version of themselves! That may not be the kind the message that will cause us to grow into a mega-church. Yet, it is the message that the Gospel proclaims.
It is my hope that you will join us by Livestream Sunday and eventually in person to discover an entirely different way to be catholic!