Twenty of us returned last Friday from a journey to Kenya. We joined a small community in the west central part of the country. Children, parents, young adults and priests all shared in a week of fellowship, prayer, learning and growing together. Our experience with the people of Moto Hope was true to their name - it instilled a new hope in our hearts. As we prepared for the journey many people asked the common question, "What are doing there?" Adjusting back to life here in the lakes area people are asking, "What did you do there?"
I recently read a post on Facebook about church and being a Christian. I can’t quote it directly, but it stated something like this, “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian. If that were the case it would be like saying a car is only a car if it is in a parking lot”. Let’s reflect on this a bit together.
Who will I be in the end? I was forced to ask myself this question last week. Our Gospel passage in the Catholic Church throughout the world was Luke 16:19-31. It is the story Jesus tells of the rich man and Lazarus. The story is based on two men. The rich man had every good thing. He had friends, family, homes, money, food, great clothes and a comfortable life. Lazarus was a poor man who sat at the door of the rich man. He had sores that the dogs licked. These two men lived very different realities.
These were the famous words heard around the world last month. On March 13, the Roman Catholic Church received a new shepherd, a new head pastor of believers throughout the world. The 265th successor of the apostle Saint Peter continued the ministry given to Peter by Christ, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven.