by Flannery La Grua
This year’s theme of “Living as a Community of Beloved Disciples” through Grace, Gratitude and Generosity is complex and takes time and thought to understand. The concept is even more difficult to understand in terms of the individual self. It is not enough to see the “Beloved Disciple’ as another person separate from ourselves, as a mere representation of Jesus’ love for mankind with which we are called to identify. We must look at ourselves to see the Beloved Disciple, and we must look to each other to see that same grace reflected back at us.
There is great responsibility in the title “Beloved Disciple”. Holy Family’s theme of discipleship (both this year and last) touches on the very reasons we come together in community through Christ and with each other. Living in community is both a giving and taking act; giving of yourself and accepting the gifts others give you, the gifts they are capable of giving.
There are many ways to give. Donating time and money may be the first ‘gifts’ that come to mind, but you also give when you come to mass and bring yourself and your family, when you sing the hymns, and when you offer the sign of peace to your neighbor.
I recently asked some fellow-parishioners after Sunday mass what being the Beloved Disciple really means to them as an identity and how they incorporate that identity into their lives.
As the months continue, my hope is that we will be better able to define our roles in this community. I will be asking you to think about what it means to live as a “Beloved Disciple”, taking on the responsibility of being the one Jesus loved best.
When you are called to share your gifts with the community, you are being asked to give the best parts of yourself.
What are your passions? What causes do you care about? What are your skills, strengths, and talents that benefit this community, and how can you get involved? These may be questions that you have been asking yourself and have not known how to get the answers. These may be questions you’ve never thought about before now. It is for these reasons that I think it is useful to start this conversation.
My question for this month is: “How are you the Beloved Disciple living in community?”
Dominic– I have a wonderful family and friends. That is an expression of God’s love
Matthew – By praying to God and listening to what he says [to you]
Valerie – I try to live like Christ would want me to
Mary – I feel a part of the parish, welcome at mass. I’ve been a member of the parish for many years. I try to follow the teaching of Christ and be present.
Matt – Being an example for the children in community. Being involved in ministries that lead the next generation. It is a priority of the community to guide the children.
Remy – I think [I] am trying hard to be the Beloved Disciple: loving people, extending self to others, being kind, praying for everyone, sharing blessings with others, trying to be a good person as God wants us to be, following his commandments.
“How are you the Beloved Disciple living in community?”
Please share your response in the “comments” section below.