EMPOWERMENT OF THE LAITY
Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
The shortage of priests, the shortage of nuns continue. But maybe this is God’s will – to awaken more of the laity to their vital role in God’s plan of salvation.
For so very long, maybe for much too long, the spread and growth in faith was left to the priests and sisters. The rest of the members of the Church, called the “laity”, were expected to lead moral lives, but by and large they were to live in the world doing pretty much the same basic things as people who were members of no church at all. They were to work and raise families in the physical order while the clergy and nuns took care of things in the spiritual order. The lines were defined; each had his and her own place.
Now that there is a shortage of clergy and nuns, the need for the laity to help with the teaching, spreading, and nourishing of the faith is becoming more obvious. We are now aware that we are all in the same boat, and if we don’t want our boat to drift and flounder, we all had better take our turns rowing. What does God want me to do? What does God want you to do? One thing for sure: He wants us to pray!
“The harvest is good,” Jesus says, “but laborers are scarce. Beg the harvest master to send out laborers to gather his harvest.” Is Jesus talking only about more priests and nuns, or does he have in mind increased involvement of the laity? The Church of the future looks like it might be very different from what we are used to, it has already changed a lot.
As I write this, the entire world suffers from two public health threats: the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice. We struggle to find solutions while realizing that many of our leaders and institutions have failed us. You, like so many, might feel like sheep without a shepherd.
As you pray for more laborers, don’t be surprised if you find God wants you to be one of them. Don’t ever leave the Church no matter what happens. We have already entered into the age of the laity and God needs you.
Think about it. Could there possibly be something God wants you to do as a member of the Church that you are not already doing?