How to live as a member of the Church
After that, we know we must obey the Commandments, live the Faith, and receive the Sacraments.
But what else? How do we live as members of the Church? How do we really live as followers of Christ in communion with one another?
Today’s readings remind us of important details for how we are to live as members of Christ’s Church.
The parable of the banquet in today’s Gospel (Luke 14:15-24) reminds us that we must extensive in our outreach, paying particular attention to those in greatest need:
Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town
and bring in here the poor and the crippled,
the blind and the lame....
Go out to the highways and hedgerows
and make people come in
that my home may be filled.
Today’s first reading (Romans 12:5-16ab) is a magnificent and detailed set of guideline for us to follow as members of the Church and disciples of Christ.
We, though many, are one Body in Christ
and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts
that differ according to the grace given to us,
let us exercise them:
if prophecy, in proportion to the faith;
if ministry, in ministering;
if one is a teacher, in teaching;
if one exhorts, in exhortation;
if one contributes, in generosity;
if one is over others, with diligence;
if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty
but associate with the lowly.
Yet even with our outreach, our fervor, our common worship, and our charity, we must never neglect our lives of personal prayer, of being alone with the Lord (if only for a moment or two each day), resting in the presence of the Lord as in the words of today’s Responsorial (Psalm 131):
O LORD, my heart is not proud,
nor are my eyes haughty;
I busy not myself with great things,
nor with things too sublime for me.
Nay rather, I have stilled and quieted
my soul like a weaned child.
Like a weaned child on its mother’s lap,
so is my soul within me.
O Israel, hope in the LORD,
both now and forever.