Season of The Lay Ministry
The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.
Those living in the land of the deep darkness,
On them…… light has shined
How comforting these words are!
This great light, is Jesus Christ, the universal Christ that shines within the whole creation, the universal Christ that is in all of us.
He is not any longer the human Jesus who invited Peter, Andrew and Zebedee to follow him but he is the Christ that continue to ask us today to follow him and to see him in the face of a stranger.
We, like his first disciple must reply yes o Lord.
When Christ calls himself the light of the world he doesn’t telling us just to look at him.
He asks us to look at life with merciful eyes.
By doing this, we can see in the same ways that he does.
The way of infinite compassion and love.
Compassion and love that motivate us to continue his work in expanding the kingdom of heaven on hearth here and now.
Knowing about Jesus it doesn’t mean we know Christ
We may know about Jesus through studying and reading, but to know Christ, the universal Christ, we must be in conversation with Him.
We do this by praying, reflecting on his words and by ask Him:
What do you want from me?
How can I do your will?
As Christians when we make choices, we do so in context of our relationship with Him
Jesus Christ call us to make a difference in the world we are living.
We must ask to ourselves:
What will help me to become what Christ desire me to be?
What will make my life fruitful in a way that I can make positive changes to my community and positive changes for those who are suffering.
We cannot make these choices relying only in our resources.
Often In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the Spirit as a guide leading us and helping us to discern our mission in life.
This Spirit, the Holy Spirit, works on us in different ways:
sometime we recognise his work long time after we have made decisions and acted upon them, sometime, He works through suggestions or invitations from other peoples and often he works through our reflections and prayers.
The Spirit of God invites all of us to work for His Kingdom now.
My call came in different stages and in different ways and I recognise my call by looking back at my past, and reflecting on my present.
I was born by a mother who was partially sighted, therefore it was natural for me to become her guide when she needed to go in different places and when she needed me to find items that she couldn’t see.
At 13 years old, I became a volunteer guide for blind people.
As I grew up I took different jobs which didn’t have nothing to do with caring but for some reasons I eventually took jobs working for the elderly, working in Day Centre for people with severe learning and physical disabilities and running a care break project.
Although I was caring for other, I had a 15 years period where I felt detached from God. I felt God didn’t like me and decided to practice Buddhism.
Practising Buddhism was ok but something was missing, I realised that what was missing was God in my life.
After 15 year away from God one of my employees who became a priest invited me to come back to the church. I responded with yes.
Back to church I met Bernie who then was discerning her call and was running a project for the community here at St John’s, I then, volunteered at Her project by running art and craft workshops while Bernie provided pastoral care as well as organising meals.
When Bernie went for training to become a priest, I was asked to take over her project which it’s still running now.
Eventually Fr John casually asked me if I wanted to become a SPA Minister.
I casually replied yes without realising how much preparation work I had to do.
During the first year of training I felt discouraged by the theological work I had to do. I was in my 65 and I felt I was to old to start learning again. In fact I felt powerless and lacking in confidence.
I nearly gave up the training but then I said to myself:
If Christ wants me to become a SPA it will happen.
Christ gave me the strength to continue the course and in 2019 I was commissioned by Bishop Christopher to exercise the ministry of Pastoral Care.
Since then, with a team of volunteers we continue to run the Hive started by Mother Bernie, running also a Community Choir and from March 2022 we started a coffee morning and a resource centre for our local refugees.
Last year I started to train to become a Spiritual Director and I feel blessed by the Holy Spirit who continue to support my self and all who support me and I remind to myself that prayers, flowers, incense by themselves will not please God unless we promote his kingdom with actions.
We are the limbs of Jesus on hearth and we must continue his work in our community by fighting against discriminations, feed the poor, healing the sick, comfort the lonely.
In Christ we are the light of the world
When we sing for the glory of God,
When we visit the sick and the lonely,
When we comfort people through just listening
When we support young children in their life and in their Christian development
When we embrace and appreciate the gift of diversity.
When we acknowledge difference of opinions but still work together.
We are the light of the world when we take opportunities for ministry within the church.
As well as priests the church needs SPAs, Readers, Sunday school leaders, Projects Facilitators and more.
The question remain: What do you desire me to be?
The answer is: Here I am Lord
May The Spirit of God Bless you and support you with all the choices you make.