Pastor’s Note: Witness to Christ By the Way We Live
Today’s gospel speaks of the apostles being witnesses to Christ and of his message to the world. We, as disciples in Christ, are called to be witnesses also to his message. We do that as individuals and as a community. In a very special way we acknowledge the powerful witness of the forty-one parishioners who leave on April 20th for pilgrimage to Italy. These forty-one parishioners will be “Walking in the Footsteps of the Saints” and witnessing how these saints formed our Catholic Faith. It will be an incredible trip for them and they will have many stories to share. We will arrange an evening sometime after their return to hear their stories of the pilgrimage and to inspire the next team to take up the baton and return and go on another pilgrimage.
One extraordinary aspect of this pilgrimage will be an evening with the Community of Sant’Egidio. The Community of Sant’Egidio began in Rome in 1968, at the initiative of a young man, Andrea Riccardi. He gathered a group of high-school students to listen to and to put the Gospel into practice. The small group immediately began going to the outskirts of Rome visiting the slums, then crowded with many poor people, and they began an afternoon school for children. Since then, the community has increased. There are about 60,000 members and in more than 73 countries on 4 continents. Together with the local community, the pilgrims will give witness to our faith in Jesus.
So where does that leave us who could not go on the pilgrimage? We are all called to witness to Christ in our own lives. We are all called to be pilgrims to our families, friends, co-workers and even strangers. I always think of St. Francis of Assisi’s words when I think of our work: “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.”
Today, as we go about doing our everyday duties and everyday routine, may we ask ourselves how we can witness to Christ. Maybe it is not necessarily doing anything new but we can do the old routine with a renewed love and passion, knowing that the housework or office work is where we can make a difference. It is not “what we do” but “how we do it” that matters. Today, may we all witness to Christ in the way we go about our day. Let the love of Christ enflame our hearts with love and preach the gospel at all times!