The past few weeks have been exhausting. Going back to college at my age was a feat in itself, but managing a parish, diocese, national church, magazine, and family has been a struggle. And so often in ministry we find ourselves alone working to help those most in need. Even worse, those who claim to support us often turn their backs on the work of ministry when the going gets tough.
Our readings this Sunday talk about how we cannot serve two masters. We cannot love the ministry and work for God while also working to tear it down and destroy it. We can serve God and the world. We cannot work to help the homeless while seeking to stop or end those outreaches that help them most. And yet, so many people do just that!
In the past few elections we have seen proof of that. People who claim to love God and support the church voting for those people who stand completely opposed to church and God. People who only touch a Bible when it is for a photo op in front of a church where they tear-gassed the pastor so they could use the church as a prop. Claiming to love the homeless and LGBTQIA+ community while voting for people who want to get rid of the homeless by starving them and suggest reeducation camps for LGBTQIA+ individuals.
These are the same “Christians” who claim to love you while working to demean and abuse you behind your back. Jesus saved his harshest criticism for those he called hypocrites. And yet, many “Christians” today are just as hypocritical as the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day.
Let me be clear, at Saint Francis Parish and Outreach we believe in the inherent dignity of each human being. This extends to our ministries and outreach programs as well. We don’t just talk the talk, we actually walk the walk. The money we raise goes to help the homeless in Augusta, Georgia. And we will continue to support the marginalized in our communities whether you stand with us or not.
My prayer is that you come and experience a different way to be Catholic. I hope you will come and find a home where you are loved and celebrated, not just tolerated. Won’t you join us this Sunday?