"Together we rebuilt what was once broken, but only after investing in the ruins - together." Fr. Kenneth J Nelan, osfc
Jesus did not endure destruction and rebuilding of the temple, that is to say, +Himself, alone. +His ministry focused on inviting people from all walks of life to minister to each other – and +He SHOWED us how. Together people from all walks of life healed the sick, fed the hungry, forgave sins, and brought a new way of thinking to an old world. We lost track of that original path at some point during the building of a new church.
In the old days, we religious gathered in monasteries or other large churches to celebrate and pray for forgiveness and healing. Some religious groups entered the secular world to teach and heal. Some entered the world to deliver the “Good News” of internal conversion and to deliver relief to throngs of sufferers through extended service in select fields. Others cloistered themselves to pray and build up the spirit. They all had one thing in common, though – a deep sense of spirituality that extended into EVERYTHING they did.
Somewhere, though, we took a different path in rebuilding the temple; the world changed and we along with it. Don’t get me wrong, we still reach out into the world, but we now do so through litigiosity and carefully controlling things never meant to be restrained. What is uncontrollable is viewed as suspect and kept at arm’s length or compared to other ministries – often with a unique form of brutality reserved only for members of certain religious groups. The rest is relegated to oblivion and deemed unworthy.
But there is another path; one less traveled and open to all who are willing to risk everything. This path is an embrace of the truest meaning of ministry as seen through the eyes of the +Creator. It is collaborative in that ministers walk side-by-side with members of the community to participate fully in reconstructing the temple through dedicated service to the People of God. It is a reconnection with the early church in that the spiritual welfare of the people becomes paramount and the sole driving force of ministry. The People become co-+Creators with the +Source – with the +One.
Ministry must change with the times. We must be fluid in our adaptation to the world around us, but we must also retain a deep connection to our origin story. We must be ever mindful of our sacred journey – of our sacred wandering – with all people whom our +Creator deems worthy of +Their mercy and love. We must return to the +Spirit who is the guide on this sacred path and we must find balance within and outside of ourselves if ever we are to help others find theirs.
It is time, once again, to find the path less traveled – to incorporate with the very essence of the path – to become an example as have others before us in finding our way back to the +Creator.
It is time to allow the +Spirit to guide and nurture all BEings as we return to our roots.