As Jesus began His public ministry, he called 12 disciples to Himself to serve as His witnesses in the world. As He proclaimed the Good News of salvation and brought healing to the sick, He showed all of those who encountered Him that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. But what about those who hadn’t seen Jesus? He wouldn’t physically encounter every person, and yet, He wants all to come to know Him. For that reason, He called the 12 to Himself, and He sent them out to proclaim the Good News to the nations, helping even those who don’t see Jesus with their own eyes to come to know Him.
Today, the number of Christ’s disciples has expanded far and wide. We here at St. Peter count ourselves blessed to be among the called, and we must take ownership of what that means. In calling us each by name and offering us His life through the grace of the sacraments, Jesus also sends us forth to proclaim the Good News. He wants us to show His love and His goodness to others, bringing others to Him.
As we begin this new year, may we take ownership of that blessed responsibility. But remember — He doesn’t call us to do it alone!
“When Jesus sent out His disciples, He sent them out in pairs,” Fr. Godfrey says. “I suspect part of His wisdom was having others to assist us in growing our faith. When we work with others we typically find more strength than when we are working alone.”
What does this mean for us?
Get involved in parish life! This is where we grow together — as a family. What’s more, that is the point of our parish ministries — to help each one of us grow in our faith as we show Christ to others by actively living the faith we profess.
Take the time, as we stare into the face of the Year of Our Lord 2024, to consider where God is calling you. What talents has He given you? How can you use them? What kind of time can you offer Him beyond your responsibilities at home? What parish ministries could use the help you have to give?
“One of the hardest questions I get asked is ‘Father, what ministries do you want me to join?’” Fr. Godfrey says. “If I don’t know your talents and skills, I can’t answer that question well. Parishioners know their abilities better than I do. And while we’re all busy, pitching in to our communal works helps me see discipleship in a whole new way. So often we say our prayers, but ministries allow us to live our faith.”
You can join a ministry any time throughout the year, and, although our Stewardship Renewal is behind us, now is a great time to assess where God is calling each one of us. Most of us are committing to New Year’s resolutions. Why not make getting more active in the life of our parish a part of that?
“I’d be particularly grateful for people taking on the responsibility of filling in for setting up for the weekend Masses,” Fr. Godfrey says. “We could always use more liturgical ministers. And the work of the Wednesday Work Crew is never finished.”
But most importantly, discern where the Lord is calling you to serve.
“We can transform this place if we all contribute even a little of what God has given us in terms of talent,” Fr. Godfrey says.
Recognizing the good that lies ahead for us in 2024, Fr. Godfrey says he would be remiss not to acknowledge the incredible stewardship that was lived throughout our parish in 2023.
“This past year brought some changes, including sharing your pastor for the first time,” Fr. Godfrey says. “I am very proud of the resilience of our parishioners as various retired priests have assisted at the Cathedral. I also see that people are more willing to pitch in as they are able — straightening up the pews at Mass is one example. Resilience, initiative, and prayer are three ways I have seen growth this year.”
At the same time, there is always room for growth, and Fr. Godfrey encourages us to continue committing our whole lives to Christ as His disciples — time, talent, and treasure. May we take the time this coming year to intentionally grow closer to Christ and His Church through our constant commitment to Him!
“We can always grow in charity; we can grow in commitment; we can grow in prayer,” Fr. Godfrey says. “I encourage all of us to be more attentive to the words we pray. What are they saying to us? Especially at Mass — the words are addressed mostly to God, but they teach us something as well. Let’s be more attentive. And then if we have questions, let us take the opportunity for faith formation so that we understand our faith more completely.”
In 2024, let us grow — as faithful disciples, as attentive warriors, as a parish family committed to living the life to which God has called us, a life of stewardship lived through discipleship. In all things we do, may God be praised!