Pastor’s Letter 10.15.17

Dear Friends,

Today we have our Fall Spaghetti Dinner. I hope that you will take a little time and join us for a
meal. Even better, I hope you take an hour or two and help us serve the food to our neighbors and
friends who have come to join us for this great event. The money raised at the Spaghetti Dinner goes to
support All Saints School. It helps provide an education for low-income children and allows their
parents to be able to make a decision to send their children to a Catholic School. I am sure these children
and their families will be very grateful for all you are doing for them in helping with the money raised at
the dinner.

The Spaghetti Dinner also helps us form community, or what is often referred to in church
circles as “fellowship”. But, what is fellowship? I suppose, that at its most basic, you could say that it is
“two fellows on the same ship.” If you head out on a cruise with another person then you are
experiencing “fellowship”. You are headed in the same direction, you are traveling with each other on
the same vessel, so you get to know each other and you associate because you are going to the same
place. Fellowship is what happens when people get to know each other because they are headed the
same direction.

As Christians, we are all, hopefully, headed to heaven. We are headed in the same direction.
St. Paul teaches us that we are a fellowship of believers with a top priority being harmony and unity. He
says, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” And “Let us
concentrate on the things that make for harmony and the growth of our fellowship together.” Scripture
teaches that anything that causes disunity is sin. When you cause conflict in the Church, when Christians
get mad at other Christians, then you are destroying “fellowship”. And, if you destroy fellowship, then
you no longer have a church.

People who are spiritually mature belong to a church. It is possible to be a Christian without a
community, but it is very difficult. People with spiritual maturity realize that they need other Christians
to help them live the call from Jesus. They know that alone they will fall away from God, become lazy,
and not seek to be the best disciple they can be. The community inspires them, challenges them,
supports them and makes them more than they could be alone.

People who are spiritually mature know that they are saved by God’s free gift of salvation. They
do not work in the church to earn their salvation, but they work in the church to glorify God and to give
thanks for the salvation they have received. Jesus is piloting the boat in which we are all “fellows.” We
are not providing the power for the boat, we are not turning the wheel, we are not making sure all is well
in the boat. No, we are simply along for a ride where God does almost all the work.

I think every Christian should wear a sign that says, “under new management.” For that is what it
means to be a Christian, to say that “God is in charge of my life – not me.” Jesus Christ is the manager
of my life. Jesus is the CEO, the President, the Boss. I will do what he asks because he has given so
much to me.

Enjoy the dinner, enjoy the fellowship, enjoy the wonder of having Christ lead you to the final
destination of this journey – heaven!

Peace,

Fr. Damian

Leave a Reply