Fr. Tom is on vacation. This week, Chris Sorensen, Pastoral Minister at Risen Savior, is offering the following reflection:
When I first read today’s second reading from Paul to the Corinthians, 7: 32-35, I must confess, I flinched. Really? Don’t all vocations have distractions and anxieties? Yes. Don’t all vocations have the potential to bring us closer to God? Yes.
I realize that Paul wrote in a specific time and context. If he was to be with us now, I trust (and hope) he would preach on this theme very differently. I had the fortunate experience of being born into a loving family. Our home was a domestic church. My parents were my first teachers and witnesses to faith in God. We learned the importance of worshipping God and of serving the God we worshipped. It wasn’t enough to fulfill our Sunday obligation, we had to practice what Jesus taught us. Gratitude was expressed in mealtime prayers and night prayers. (I have a wonderful story about my father and his practice of nightly prayers. If you see me just ask!) When my father received his Christmas bonus he’d stop and drop off a donation to the Franciscan Home for Children or the shelter for men in downtown Boston before bringing it home to our family. We learned the art of hospitality by the open door my parents offered to people who needed an ear, a meal or a respite from loneliness. They understood that everyone was our neighbor. They taught us that all people were created by God and there was to be no room for discrimination in our hearts.
My parents, Ag and Al, lived a truly holy and sacramental marriage. Their love and faithfulness to our God was passed on to us, their children. Were there distractions for them? Of course! Did they do their very best in spite of distractions and hardships? Yes! Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church from the Second Vatican Council, teaches that the call to holiness embraces all baptized Christians and is not limited to any one state in life. That’s where we are as a Church today. St. Paul would no doubt be pleased with our spiritual evolution!