Written by Sherry
Monday, 05 March 2007 10:11
Written by Keith Strohm
God wants your parish to be rich . . .
Rich in faith, rich in hope, rich in love--
and rich in charisms.
In fact, God has given each parish community all of the gifts it needs to fulfill the mission to which He has called it (and its members). If we take the both written and oral Tradition seriously and acknowledge the reality of the charisms in our midst, then we begin to realize that there is a charismatic economy to the Church--a way in which God intends for His Body to go out and continue the mission of Christ to the world.
We are not left to our own devices in responding to the call of Christ to "go make disciples among all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:18-19). Rather, God has equipped us with particular talents and charisms to accomplish the particular work of love that He has called us to. We limit ourselves and we place artificial boundaries upon God when we simply throw bodies at particular issues, deploying resources like any solely human institution.
In honoring this economy (by discerning the charisms among us and connecting particular gifts with particular work) we not only realize the full flowering of effectiveness in our mission, but we also honor the Giver of These Gifts. Recognized in this light, calling forth and nurturing the gifts and vocation of the community becomes one of the fundamental expressions of the pastoral role of governance and a living example of good stewardship.
Solid stewardship of treasure, for example, seeks the maximum result for every single penny spent. Why do our parishes not have the same approach with its members. We should seek the maximum effect in every area of our formation, our worship, and our mission to the world. Lining up people's experience and charisms with particular tasks that must be accomplished. Their are charisms of leadership and administration waiting to be used to address the particular issues of the local community in which the parish is placed. There are charisms of teaching and encouragement that are waiting to be used in our sacramental preparation and formation for mission. There are an abundance of riches that God has showered upon us in the charismatic economy.
How, then, can we best cash in on this economy? How can we, at the parish level, provide better formation, discernment, and "deployment" so that all of the God-given resources of each parish may be offered for the sake of the world?