Ministry as Spiritual formation
Ministry as Spiritual formation
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry we do not lose heart, rather we have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use deception nor do we distort the word of God. But on the contrary by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscious in the sight of God.
– 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
These powerful words written by our brother, the apostle Paul, written to the church of Corinth remind us that God has something for all of us to do. Whether we’re working in class, working in a gas station, making pizzas or climbing telephone poles, God has a plan and a ministry that he has given to every one of the members of his body. By his spirit, we’re to not lose heart, we’re to renounce those secret and shameful ways we don’t use deception but we teach the truth plainly. We share with God’s love that every man’s conscience shall be turned to God. So today, as you’re sitting in cohorts, as you’re serving in families as you’re working in your jobs, remember that the spirit of God has you there; that’s his mission for you. When you pray, when you study God’s word, when you live a life on mission, then the ministry of the Holy Spirit will help you, encourage you, keep you, lead you and guide you as you do all that you do in the name of Jesus.
Let’s pray: Father God, thank you today for our family. Bless these, our children, use them greatly as they go into all the world to proclaim this powerful gospel. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Two thoughts stand out to me. 1) the students we currently consider “documented” are so considered because of DACA, the very provision our President-Elect has stated he will remove (thus rendering them undocumented again). 2) Statements are often meaningful not so much because of who they stand against, but for who they offer to stand with. As a starting point, such a statement to vulnerable communities who feel or perceive a threat is a substantive action starting point especially when such statements are asking powers to consider taking further substantive action. One such statement of support has been made by 70 Catholic University presidents (some of who have joined the 400 University presidents nationwide in promoting “sanctuary” schools). Their statement falls short of calling for “sanctuary” campuses, but does make significant offers”…to support these students – through our campus counseling and ministry support, through legal resources from those campuses with law schools and legal clinics, and through whatever other services we may have at our disposal.” While our Administrative leaders may not see it wise to state FPU as a “sanctuary” campus, I would encourage clearer and more direct statement of support with the kinds of tangible supports some of our Catholic brothers & sisters are offering as part of a holistic, life-long, pro-life response. The FPU letter asked for 5 things, the first two of which have been addressed. The remaining three are: “that FPU publicly reaffirm its ongoing and historic commitment to be a place of higher education specifically for undocumented students;” “that FPU expand financial aid and human resources for undocumented students;” and “that FPU take tangible measures toward becoming better informed as a community about issues of immigration and the lives of immigrants including the pursuit of the political and cultural understanding necessary to make our campuses safe and hospitable.” I am sure there are other actions an institution like ours committed to loving our neighbor can take as well. I look forward to our Administration pursuing what we can do, rather than only what we can’t.
The “middle way” mentioned by Dr. Saul, is, when referring to indulgences such as extremes of diet, or work, an admirable pursuit. However, when facing humanitarian needs, such as keeping families together, and protecting the underrepresented, I am reminded of a quote by Paulo Freire who said, “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.”
Further, our own Confession of Faith, article 13, is not in passive, or neutral voice, but encourages us to actively “alleviate suffering, reduce strife, promote justice…”. It seems to me that there is disagreement regarding what is just.
Amen my brother.