Recently someone said to me, “I wish I could do more for this community.” I reminded that person of what he is already doing and said that if everyone did their part the result would be amazing.
A couple approached me and said, “We’ve noticed that this isn’t getting done. We think it’s an eyesore and we want to volunteer to take care of it. Would that be okay?”
When I take inventory of our volunteers here at Saint Martin de Tours, they number around 110 to 120. These volunteers give of themselves, some in small ways and some in big ways, all on a regular basis.
That’s about 10% of our regular church going congregation.
Then, maybe another 50 or so folks volunteer somewhere out there in the community. That’s my best guess. Which means about 15% of us are giving back.
Where does that leave the other 85%? I know that there are people in this world who take and take and take and they do not give. But I would hope that wouldn’t be 85% of us.
This does seem to be the case with the people confronting Jesus in gospel. They take and take and take but they do not give.
Jesus gives. Jesus feeds them with 5 loave and 2 fish but they want more.
So Jesus gives them his flesh and blood to eat and drink. In other words, Jesus gives his very life, his very self. All that he has, he gives.
For what? We’re told right there in the gospel. For the life of the world. For the life of the world.
Saint Augustine tells us that we become what we receive Jesus. Here at the Eucharist we receive Jesus, his flesh and blood. For the life of the world.
If we receive Jesus’ flesh and blood for the life of the world, this means we are tasked with doing something that brings life to the world. We are tasked with giving back something that gives life to the world.
We cannot simply take and take and take. We must give. We are tasked with volunteering some time or some talent to make the world a better place.
Because we receive Jesus in here, we are supposed to be Jesus out there.
This fall I promised some renewal. Over the next month you we be hearing about an exciting event we are hosting here over the course of five Wednesday evenings for our renewal.
But not just a spiritual renewal, there must also be a renewal of self giving, a renewal of volunteerism. For the life of the world.
Imagine what would happen if everyone did their part to make our church or our church grounds or our cemetery or our community or our world a better place.
If you see something around here that’s not getting done, don’t ask me when I’m going to take care of it. I’m only one person.
It would be better if you asked me if it would be okay for you to do it.