Sometimes when I talk to Christians it seems as though their Christianity is a merely a badge that they wear when they feel like it. If we read the priestly prayer of Jesus carefully, part of it is today’s Gospel, we will realize that it should be a lot more than that! The sentiments contained in the prayer indicate something of the commitment of Jesus towards us – surely that must mean that we will have to be committed to Him in a similar fashion. It is all too easy to allow ourselves to sit back and watch while the Church goes about its business of preaching the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Can and should we be doing more to help the Church in its mission?

If I were a salesman for a particular company it would not take long for me to be fired if I was not out on the street every day trying to sell the product my company produces and sells. Being a Baptized member of the Church carries with it many blessings and graces; it also involves duties and responsibilities. We cannot really have one without the other or else we will be hypocrites rather than Christians.

If we are going to receive the offer of God’s love for us, then we also have to be willing to commit ourselves to loving Him in return. One of the primary aspects of this love is a willingness to share the Gospel with others. This can happen in many different ways. What is critical is that we actually participate in the mission of the Church according to our gifting, ability and means. One particular way is not necessarily better than another as the Church needs all sorts of different services in order to proclaim the Gospel to all people.

Jesus laid down His life for us on the cross. How are we going to respond to His love? I pray and hope that we become full and active members of our lay communities and parishes. I am sure that this is what God is expecting of us.

To what degree do I offer my services to my local parish or lay community? Am I as active as I could or should be? What gifts do I have that I can offer for use in the mission of the Church?

Father in Heaven, you sent Jesus to redeem us and to set an example for what it means to lay down one’s life in the service of your will. Help me to hear your call and to respond to it as generously as possible.