The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There are undercurrents in our Churches

We are all blessed in life with at least one talent or gift from our Lord. My daughter always tell me that I am gifted with the ability to do things that many people call on me to assist with. Think about how much money you can make she tells me, but I would always reply "daddy's a Jack of all trade, and master of none," humility being my middle name of course. My son loves the basketball sport, do not ask me where he adapted the love of the game, but he does. During his school's games he would occasionally sit on the sideline in anticipation to getting in the game and being involved. He prefers to be a participant rather than a spectator.

Through love of Church we should feel compelled to want to give back to our community. The church calls for us to be active members within each of our communities and within the Catholic Church as a whole. For some of us that comes naturally because we thrive on being in the spotlight, for others we are timid and need to work our way up gradually. It is also important that when we do so we do it from the heart and not to be seen for the work that we do. Mt 6:1 "[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father."

The Church is always seeking volunteers to give assistance. Taking the initiative at times can come with a price though, even greater for newer members. Do not be surprised if you receive strange looks from other members for getting involved. There will always be those who refuse to help, but are angry when others step up to the plate. In his recent farewell address to the members of St. Thomas More Parish, Msgr Alfred Culmer suggested that we pay close attention to the gifts and talents within the Parish community. He also pointed out that there were undercurrents that are tearing down and holding back those gifted and talented individuals.

Undercurrents can be found in the young, but are most likely to be found among those who have been members of the Church for a substantial amount of years. In most instances they are the ones who feel that they have put time into the Church, therefore are entitled to first preference to a duty or assignment even though they know themselves that they do not care to lift a finger. Similarly we read in Mt 20:16 where the laborers who were hired first felt as though they should receive more than those hired after them; Jesus then says: "the first shall be last and the last shall be first." Should we as seasoned members within our Parishes feel entitled to special treatment from the Church because of our years of service?

There will always be negative comments by those individuals who thrive on holding back the talented within the community. Just as the scribes and the Pharisees would widen their phylacteries so as to be seen, we have individuals within our Parish communities who make themselves known as the founders of the Church. A Baptist preacher made perfect sense on his televised Church service when he said that some Churches have imprinted on the buildings of the Church, "founded by so and so." I thought Jesus founded the Church he exclaimed. Of course the building is only a building, but you get my point, we enter the body of Christ the same today as those who entered seventy years ago. When the sheep and the goats are separated, Jesus will not call for the senior sheep to come to the front of the line for accepting his invitation to eternal life many years ago. Come on brothers and sisters in Christ, we are one, with one goal in mind, to build up the Kingdom of God together.

We must realize that there are undercurrents in our Churches, they are those who refuse to lay a finger, but are always the first to criticize. They are quick to point out flaws and protest when someone takes the initiative, but will never take the time to thank someone for a job well-done. Do not be discouraged by the undercurrents. Do you feel that you have a talent that can be beneficial to the growth and development of your Parish? Then, by all means talk to your Parish Priest. Ask how you can get involved and make suggestions that can help the Church.

Are you helping build the Church or are you sitting on the fence waiting to complain and bicker about everything? Just as my son would prefer to participate in his basketball games than sit on the sideline and spectate, we need more participants in our Parishes.

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