God does His work through us.
I was reminded of that the other day at a morning Mass celebrated by Bishop Alfred Schlert on his fifth anniversary as our bishop.
It was the theme of that day’s Scripture reading: We may sow the seeds, and we may water them, but it’s God who makes the crop grow. (See the full text at First Corinthians 3:1-9).
In his homily, the Bishop talked about the Church’s Mission to do good works for people in our communities. That often happens quietly, he said, day in and day out, around the Diocese.
Every day, thousands of children are educated in diocesan Catholic schools. Every day Catholic Charities helps people because they are hungry, or need a shoulder to lean on, or need a place to stay. Every day, in 80 parishes around the Diocese, priests and deacons tend their flocks, and parish staff and volunteers minister to people and communities in ways too numerous to list here.
That’s God doing His work, through His people.
All of us get that same chance every day – to let God work through us. Whether it’s at our job, or at home, or at the grocery store, or behind the wheel of our cars (have you noticed that people are driving crazier these days?) God can use us to do His work. But only if we let Him.
Which brings me to Eleanor, the front-door receptionist here at the Diocese’s main office.
Eleanor is the first person anyone talks to when they call the main telephone number for the Diocese, and she is the first person they see when they come to the door looking for information or assistance.
It’s not easy being the public face of an organization. Most of the time, things are fine. But every now and then, someone has a bee in their bonnet, or they don’t get the answer they are expecting, and they are not very happy.
Yet, Eleanor loves her job. She does it with kindness and compassion and patience. She likes being the person that people can turn to for help. And yes, she told me that she truly feels like God is doing some of His work through her.
Bishop Schlert wrapped up that morning Mass homily with a challenge: It’s our job, he said, and the job of every one of Christ’s people, to be open to God working through us.
I’m going to do my best to keep that in mind, and I invite you to do the same. As we go through our daily lives, all we really need to do is open our hearts to God, and to let Him use us to do His work.