THE PARISH AS A SCHOOL OF DISCIPLESHIP

As we enter Holy Week we can look back at our Lenten journey that has helped us prepare for the glory of the resurrection!! We have journeyed through the desert to hear more clearly and powerfully the voice of our loving God. This Holy Week the most powerful, moving and transforming opportunities to encounter Jesus who is alive, and longs to be in our hearts!!!

Throughout the Lenten season, we as a parish have been formed, shaped and molded into generous sowers of the Good News. We as students of Jesus, our Master, have come to the parish seeking wisdom, strength, counsel and healing to be Christ in this world. St. George Parish is a school of prayer, faith, hope and light.

This Lent we have participated in the following spiritual classes to strengthen our resolve as faithful disciples:
(1) Monday Nights of Mercy (evening Mass with the Anointing of the Sick followed by Confessions)

(2) Friday Nights of Grace (evening Mass followed by the Stations of the Cross)

(3) Digital Parish Mission (reflecting on Sowing Good Seeds via CD and a podcast version)

(4) Lenten Mini-Retreat (Learning how to pray and why we pray)

(5) Sacrament of Confession (an opportunity to experience the healing grace of Jesus)

(6) Faith Film Series (a chance to remember St. John Paul II, a man of faith and discipleship)

7) Czestochowa Way of the Cross (a chance to pray and walk with Jesus in a new modern Way of the Cross)

In all of these ways we as a parish have been invited by Jesus to learn from him and to be inspired so that we may intentionally and directly be a disciple in our world today.

BEING AN INTENTIONAL DISCIPLE

As a good and faithful student of Jesus, we have to attended our spiritual classes, taken good notes and completed our homework. For us that is coming to church, getting involved in the many different ministries in our parish, taking time to pray, having a strong spiritual life and then also putting our knowledge, faith, and learning into action. The best way to be a disciple or a student of Jesus is to put what we have learned and experienced into practice.

An intentional and faithful disciple is someone who chooses to place Jesus at the heart of their lives and makes a daily commitment to do the Master’s will.

An intentional disciple does not sit on the sidelines waiting to be invited to ministry, service or outreach but searches for the opportunities to share the joy, love, peace and compassion overflowing in their hearts.

An intentional disciple engages the world with all its challenges, difficulties and sufferings stepping forward to offer a better way, one that leads to Jesus who is the only one that can offer us true peace and wholeness.

CHANGING OUR APPROACH TO PARISH LIFE

There is a great transition taking place in the Church. There is a greater sense of urgency for us in our modern world to adapt to the needs of evangelization. Our culture has in so many ways dismissed faith and God. Some of this is due to the fact that the Church has forgotten to form messengers, ambassadors, and saints for today.

The parish is not a country club or simply a community centre. It is a home of faith in which we gather as family to encounter the divine grace of God. It is our school of faith in which we learn from Jesus, our Master, who seeks to transform our hearts. This can only take place when the parish itself knows, cares for and serves one another. This means that each of us is called by Christ to commit to the parish, our family of faith, to pray, share and serve one another rooted in love. In this way our lives are transformed.

Unfortunately we most often approach our faith as something that we try to fit in, get it over with (attending Mass) or avoiding a guilty conscience. If this is our approach to faith—it is not surprising that we are left disappointed.

SPRINGING INTO ACTION

As we approach Easter and celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we have a new opportunity to spring into action. During the Easter season the Pastoral Team will be extending many invitations for everyone to get involved, to serve and build up this family of faith. We will have many and various chances to be those messengers of hope, ambassadors of peace and saints of today.

Where is the Lord calling you? What needs to change in your faith life to let Jesus in more? What do you have to let go that prevents you from embracing Jesus completely?