Sunday, August 5, 2012

Food that will perish

In the gospel today we are commanded not to work for food that will perish but that will endure to eternal life.

One of the greatest misreads of Vatican II was the term "lay ministry." Even today when we use the term people think of lectors, Eucharistic ministers, ushers, etc. While these are good and necessary things these were not what the council primarily had in mind. If one actually reads APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM, the decree on the laity, you see that the primary ministry of the laity is "the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel.", in short, changing the world. Lay ministry isn't something you have to do at church in addition to work and family; it's how you fulfill your role at work and with your family, which of course includes obligations to God.

Today's gospel is not suggesting that to be holy you need to stop working, quit your job and sit around and pray all day. Yes, you must pray every day. And the sacraments, particularly Eucharist and Penance, must be a regular part of our life. If you are a lay person you carry out your mission most fully when you find ways to use your work as a means to penetrate and perfect the world around us through the spirit of the Gospel.

The work may remain the same but it has a new purpose.

Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life,