The Keys: One morning, early in her career, a teacher arrived at school early and was surprised to see a youngster anxiously waiting at the door. “It’s locked,” the student said as the teacher tried the door. In the teacher’s words: I began to fumble for my keys and the child immediately brightened. “You’re a teacher!” he said enthusiastically. “How do you know that?” I asked. He hesitated for a moment, and then said with respect, “You have the key.” I was overwhelmed by that simple statement. It started me pondering my responsibilities as a teacher. It was perhaps the most significant statement directed toward me in my entire career, and I have never ceased to ponder it.
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
There are many ways for us to apply the above story to our lives. Simply replace the word “teacher” with pastor, parent, godparent, family member, parishioner, Christian, Catholic, citizen, adult, etc., and each of us can reflect on the many “hats” and responsibilities we have. Yes, by our birth, and especially by our baptism, we have been blessed with certain gifts/opportunities that someday at our particular judgment we will be asked how we managed the “keys” we were given in our time on this earth. How easy it is to get lazy or distracted in handling these duties. The excuses can be endless; and yet, the accountability does not go away. One day Jesus will ask us how we handled _____ (you fill in the role), and as we try to defend our efforts, he will stop us after each excuse and remind us of our responsibility. In other words, there is no defense for our failure to manage the “keys” we each have been given. We are called to embrace the “hats” we have been given, to live the life we have been accorded.
With this spirit of responsibility in mind, this weekend we celebrate our role as parishioner. In particular, we hold up our Parish Council. We give thanks for those who are ending their service, and we look forward to those who will take on this important leadership role. Our Parish Council Constitution reminds us of the purpose of this body:
The Council is a consultative body, which advises the Pastor by providing input through discernment of pastoral needs on the direction setting and vision realization of the parish. The purpose of the Council shall be to collaborate with and assist the Pastor in building a sense of community within the parish and furthering the mission of the parish to the broader church and to our global human family. Recommendations to the Pastor on issues are provided by consensus.
May God bless the good work of our Parish Council. May God bless each of us as we discern how we are called to share our time, talent and treasure here at the Church of St. Edward. Together we are building the kingdom. Together we possess the “key”.