Reflection for Saturday, May 6, 2000: 2nd week in Easter.

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Kestermeier, Chas, S.J.
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The situation in today's first reading is vaguely similar to a problem that we have today, insufficient clergy to do all that we expect the Church to accomplish. Here the Twelve decide to appoint special ministers from among the people to care for these needs, and they lay hands on them to consecrate them for their task. Only in recent years have these ministers come back into existence in any practical way, even though it is not for the same work that such ministers were first called to.||Today we need an increase in vocations, and we do need to pray for that, but in a Vatican II Church we might well reflect on whether this apparent shortage might not also be a call to all of us to find a new way of being part of Christ's Body. The Church has never ceased to change, reform, and develop clerical and religious life throughout history in order to respond to new needs and opportunities. Now that the laity is becoming fairly well educated and enterprising, maybe we need to give them much more of a role in the Church not only in terms of reluctantly "letting" them take responsibility for our common ecclesial life. We need to invite them to take such positions precisely because God has given them gifts needed for the health of Christ's Body, gifts that we can no longer live without, and not simply because the way we now care for the life of the Church seems to not work as well as it has in the past. We do not need to completely reinvent the Church, but we do need to bring a little "aggiornamento" into our living of it.|Is this a difficult, daunting call? Not really: in today's Gospel Jesus walks on the water in the stormy night and says "It is I: do not be afraid."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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