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Friday of the Twenty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

We all depend on each other. We all have something to offer one another. Jesus did not do it all alone. When he went about the towns and villages proclaiming the good news of salvation, we are told that he was accompanied by men and women who helped him.

And it was not just the cream of the crop. People who had skeletons in their closets, the educated and uneducated, the rich and poor — he didn’t care. It was the love and concern that they had for God and others that was important.

It should be the same today. No one has priority on helping Jesus spread the good news. Each one who wants to show God’s love and care is to be allowed to do so in whatever way God has willed his need for them.

We each have special talents to place at the service of the Church. No one of us is more important nor better than the other. We are all needed - by God and by each other. The pope cannot do it alone, the priests cannot do it alone, the nuns cannot do it alone. Men and women, lay and religious, of all races, from all walks of life are to be considered equal and needed, though not the same in their abilities, talents, and culture.

Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus is a disciple. Today we are the women and men who have chosen to follow Jesus. And today we are called to provide for the people in our lives who are in need. We may do this by making a donation, helping a neighbor by mowing the grass, working in a food pantry, or simply by lending a listening ear to an individual who needs some support. If we claim to be disciples of Jesus, will the people we encounter today recognize us as his followers?

The ministry of Jesus benefited a lot from the involvement of many. Let us not hold back what we are able to add, and let us not keep anyone else from doing what he or she is capable of.

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