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Audio Available!
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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Don't be a couch potato!

Last weekend when I was in Washington, DC with many of the parish school's 8th graders (and a great team of chaperones!) I heard a great line from our tour guide who rode the bus with us.  In order to keep everyone in their seats for the sake of safety and order, she had a good little phrase: "Keep your tooshie on the cushie!"  During this summer, and we will often find ourselves spending a lot more time with our tooshie on the cushie, so to speak, when we are taking some time to relax and recover from a busy schedule.  Perhaps it is parents of teenagers who see this to the most disturbing extent at times! And when there is something to be done, it can be quite frustrating to see a family member just lounging around. "Please, get up and mow the grass (or put the dishes away)!"  Laziness is often times not the best type of restoration we can get.  Sometimes we feel worse afterwards because we dig ourselves into a hole.  The reality is: we were not made to be couch potatoes.

This goes also for holy mother church. You and I, the body of Christ, were not made to be catch potatoes! Pope Francis says that every disciple of the Lord Jesus is a missionary disciple.  What he means is we have to get our tooshie off the cushie.

Today, on this feast of Pentecost, we focus especially on the mission of evangelization!  We are all called to be like the apostles who are driven out by the power of the Holy Spirit to live our faith and share the gospel.

Matthew Kelly's book "the four signs of a dynamic Catholic" says there are four signs that all of us should be manifesting in our life.  They are: prayer, study of the faith, generosity (with time and talent and treasure), and - you guessed it - evangelization.
Pope Paul VI said that the world listens to people only because they are witnesses and not due solely to their authority.  So that goes for us.  The only way for us to fulfill the mission of evangelization, is to have had a profound experience of the faith - to have an encounter with the person I Lord Jesus Christ, in our daily lives.  This is exactly what a witness is!
In order to be a witness, to have a profound experience of the faith, we have to be living those other 3 signs of a dynamic catholic.
This means we have to pray, just like the Apostles who said their first novena during those days between the Ascension and Pentecost.
This means we have to study, just like the Apostles who found through the scriptures the deeper meaning of Christ's life and mission.
And this means we have to be generous with our time, talent, and treasure, both inside the parish and beyond it.
But the best way to get our tooshie off the cushie and share our faith is through the simple and authentic relationships we have in life: whether at work, school, in the neighborhood, or through our activities and hobbies.  If you want to touch someone's life, bring them a CD from the back of church after you have listened to it yourself and say, "hey, I was listening to this CD of the faith and thought you might benefit from it.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think."  Or something else simple and easy, such as the Palms from Palm Sunday.  One parishioner told me this was very effective.

The fact is this: a shared faith is an alive faith.  So don't be a couch potato: spread the love of God from the Holy Spirit to a world that is hurting!

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