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Feb 11

Written by:
2/11/2018 12:00 AM  RssIcon

Matthew 25 gives us a clear indication of our role and responsibility as disciples of Christ. In that chapter, Jesus tells those who have been welcomed into the paradise that they are there because they were able to recognize His presence in those who were poor, needy, naked, alone and imprisoned. They put their faith into action and did it all not because of a desire for a reward, but because it just flowed from who they were and their living relationship with the Lord.

From my first moments in these two parishes, I have been amazed at the number of ways that these things are done in and around the parish. Our Pastoral Area Food Pantry is staffed by an army of volunteers who give so generously of their time. (Not to mention that the food pantry is stocked by so many donations that come in from parishioners!) The St. Vincent de Paul Society serves neighbors in need and helps to address the root causes of what precipitated the call into the society. The Men’s Organization and the Knights of Columbus assist with various projects around the neighborhood.

There are so many other things that happen that I am not even aware of, it is such a blessing!

These various outreach programs are not just local, though, either. At Corpus Christi, we have the ongoing twinning project in Jamaica. At St. John Neumann, we support sons of the parish who are doing great work with orphanages in Mexico and in spreading the Word of God around the world. Young people support the mission of Matthew 25, among other avenues, too.

This weekend, we have an opportunity to hear from missionaries with Food for the Poor, an outreach to 17 countries throughout the Caribbean and Latin America to provide food, housing, healthcare, education, fresh water, emergency relief and many other services. They are here as an ongoing reminder of our need to make the plight of our brothers and sisters our own. There is a real sense that whenever one member of the Body of Christ is suffering, we are all suffering!

While we all know this, it is also good to get a gentle reminder every now and again. I know I can have a tendency to narrow my focus and only concentrate on the things that are right in front of me and I forget to look at the bigger picture. I hope that the talks this weekend are able to be a good reminder of these obligations.

If you are wondering where I am this weekend, as a priest, we have an obligation to go on retreat once a year for at least five days. This weekend, I am at a small hermitage in rural northwest Arkansas to spend a few days in quiet prayer to help re-connect with Our Lord prior to the beginning of Lent. Please whisper a prayer for me that I might return recharged to lead you through the journey of Lent over the next few months.

God Bless
Fr. Kyle Schnippel


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