This week I heard a news story about a family who was struggling to make ends meet, due to pandemic-related underemployment. It really struck me when I heard it, and I prayed a quick prayer for the family. Somehow, that morning, I heard that story four separate times, and I realized that God may be inviting me to do something beyond a quick prayer.
I felt an urgency to help someone like the woman in the story, but I was not sure how to go about it. I prayed “Okay God, send me where I’m needed, let me know how I can help.” And then... I got a little nervous.
I was nervous because I know that when we ask God to use us, God does. God calls all bluffs when we put ourselves out there and are willing to use our gifts to help others. I thought, hmm… if I tell God I’m willing to help, what might happen? Will a family of four appear on my doorstep? It’s entirely possible, knowing God.
Fr. Bob Bedard, founder of the fraternal order of the Companions of the Cross, calls this the ‘dangerous prayer’: “Whatever you want me to do Lord, I will do it.” The prayer is a daring one because if you’re like me, you’d rather say something like “Whatever you want me to do, Lord, let me know, and I’ll see if it’s something I’d consider if I have the time or I’m not too tired…” The prayer is dangerous because we don’t get to specify what we’re willing to do, and because it is a prayer that God will answer.
But I do want God to use me, to use what I can give, to help the people in our world who are needy. I’m so grateful to be a part of this parish and to have access to our St. Vincent de Paul Society, who takes my donation (and yours!) and puts it to work immediately, and locally, helping real people who need real help. You can join me in making a donation right from our website: www.icssalem.churchgiving.com
I know that God is ready to put us to work to build the kingdom and care for others, and I think that we can become a parish who is famous for the way we love people. Join me this week in making this dangerous prayer, and let us see what God does with us, and through us.
Sunday 8 AM
St. James Church Parking Lot
Parking Lot opens at 7:30 am