I’m always amazed during Christmastime and Easter at how many people show up for church. The pews are packed! There’s something about all the candles and incensing and decorations at a midnight Mass or the voices of a children’s choir that is just so beautiful and alluring. In our small parish, we have three Masses for Christmas. –We still believe.
As I sit and listen to the pastor begin his homily, I think about how important his message is. He has a captive audience. He has a lot to say to those people who may only come once a year, and he’d better give it all he’s got, right? No pressure.
What can you say that makes people want to come back next week and get them interested in learning more about God? How do you spark the interest of those people who come on a regular basis? No pressure at all. What is there to say that people haven’t heard before?
He has to just give it to God and let the Holy Spirit do His job. And He does. He shows up every..single..time. Have you ever been listening to the pastor’s homily and thought, “is he talking about me?” God is working, in all of us. That’s how He works. It’s not us, it’s Him.
As I continue to sit in my pew and I watch people come forward to receive Jesus in Communion, I am moved beyond measure. –We still believe. As I say my prayers, I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, not only that God has called me, but that He has called all these other people, too. Then I think about the big picture: People are in churches all over the world to celebrate the birth of Christ! How amazing is that? And in the Catholic Church, it’s the same Mass in every church. We are celebrating together as the body of Christ!
I realize life isn’t about me and what I want or what I need. It’s not about my job or how successful I am or the house I live in or the car I drive or how much money I make. It’s about Jesus and whether or not He is the love with which I love others.
News and social media will try to convince you to focus on these other things, but –we still believe and that is encouraging. Let us continue to show up for church, to teach our children, our families and friends, and to keep spreading the Good News, the Gospel, just like the disciples did so long ago.
Every week I write a blog to encourage people to live life to the fullest. I try to point others in the direction of Jesus because that’s what I know. That’s what works for me and If it works for me, then it can work for you, too. Jesus is my lifeline and my life is better when I focus on putting Him first.
New Year, New Challenge
As we begin the new year, make it a goal to go back to church if you haven’t been in awhile. If you have been going, how can you go a little deeper? Catholic Churches are usually open during the day. So just step in and pray and have some silence in a noisy world. Ask Him to draw you closer to Himself and how to do it.
I’ve got some big things in store for 2022 and I hope you will join me. There’s a challenge coming up next week all about personal development and how you can change your habits and change your life. This year is going to be about taking ACTION, so stay tuned. If you know someone who needs some encouragement, I hope you’ll share this blog with them. You can follow along on my Facebook page @blogbyBarb or sign up on the page to get this delivered right to your email every week.
Merry Christmas, friends. (Yes, it’s still Christmas!) God bless us all, everyone.–Barb