Cathedral News, July 30, 2017

 
 
 

When I was in high school I caught something. I had gone to a Cursillo-type weekend called Happening, which was specifically designed for high schoolers. It was awesome. I formed some friendships which I still have and it served to strengthen those that I already had as I brought my friends to their own Happening weekends. We had found something priceless, something that made everything else fall away.

It was that weekend that encouraged me to do all different kinds of ministry. Acolyte, chalice bearer, Youth Leader, Campus Missioner, you name it. And while not all of those are directly connected to my experience at Happening, it was certainly the spark that caught. I had found my joy, and it was ministry.

I bring this up because today’s Gospel readings talk a great deal about finding “it”, whether it is treasure in a field or faith the size of a mustard seed. It is that sense of fulfillment that comes from knowing you are doing exactly what God is calling you to do. I walk in our doors on Tuesdays to see volunteers captivated by the joy of serving others and forming meaningful relationships with our Food Pantry clients. I walk downstairs during the program year to see it on the faces of Sunday School Teachers as they answer questions or teach lessons. I see it in the choir room, at the communion rail, on the streets of Albuquerque, and everywhere the Body of Christ finds itself at work.

If you are having a hard time picturing what I am writing about, I invite you to discover your joy. Ministry is not an obligation, which we can sometimes manage to make it, but a privilege and a gift. We respond to that gift by giving ourselves to Christ as Christ gave himself for us. Every Sunday that I am scheduled to celebrate, I say the same prayer before the service: “Lord, as we prepare to celebrate your Body: taken, blessed, broken, and given for us on the altar this morning; prepare us to be your body: taken, blessed, broken, and given for the life of the world. Amen.”

I do not mean that we go out into the streets of Albuquerque and literally break ourselves, but that we feed the world just as Christ feeds us in the Eucharist, by giving ourselves to the service of others.