Ever since the Feast of the Epiphany, I have been preaching about recognizing our own personal gifts and sharing them with the community. This week we will continue that reflection. The first reading will be a familiar one where St. Paul talks about the many gifts he recognizes among the members of the Christian community at Corinth. The gospel is the scene from the life of Jesus where he informs the members of his home church that the time for the Lord’s Kingdom to take root in the world is right now, while he is there among them.
As a faith community, we have an important gift to share with each other and the world: that is the experience of a strong, loving community where differences are respected and diversity is celebrated. Our world today, in so many ways, is suffering from divisions between people that cause harm to us all. The very best thing that we can offer the world is a welcoming, open, non-judgemental community where everyone can enjoy a sense of belonging.
I want to borrow a few words from last Sunday’s homily and repeat them here.
The recipe for baking a strong community reads like this:
Greet each other with Love
Share your stories with each other
Add your own gifts to the bowl
Sprinkle in some work and some laughter
Season all of your words and works with Love
I sense that we have been succeeding at this formula at Emmaus for awhile. We can always practice the art of building (or baking) community and do it better. But I also think it is time for us to begin sharing our delicious gifts with the rest of the larger community. We have a truly wonderful “product” to share. Let’s not keep it to ourselves.
I hope that 2019 will give us some new opportunities to do take our gifts into the world. Any thoughts you may have about how to do that are very welcome.