Forgiveness and Service
By the Most Rev. JOHN B. BRUNGARDT
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City
Editor’s Note: This is the last in Bishop John’s series on Good News and Kingdom Living. The next issue will include a summary of the entire series.
How do we witness the Good News of Jesus Christ? A witness gives evidence or testimony to an action or belief. What belief did Jesus teach us? What actions did He show us as examples that we should imitate?
Jesus brought us forgiveness. He calls us to forgive, and to be forgiven. Reconciliation, one person with the other, is a key message of the Lord that we are to imitate. How am I doing in this area? For example, is there someone that I need to reconcile with? At times, the hardest three words are “I am sorry,” or “I forgive you.” Yet, we pray this every day in the prayer that Jesus taught us: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12). Let us ask God to give us the wisdom and courage to forgive, and to be forgiven.
Jesus also taught us service. He calls us not to “be served but to serve” (Mark 10:45). We are witnesses to Christ when we are impelled out of ourselves, and reach out to others in service. How am I doing in this area? For example, each parish is called to have Annual Stewardship Renewal in the Fall, with much planning and organizing in the Summer. Is the Lord calling you to speak to your priest about serving on the Stewardship committee, or helping in some other way? Let us ask God for the strength to sacrifice some of our time in service to others, the parish, or the community.
Forgiveness and Service. Two areas of witnessing the Good News of Jesus, of living His Kingdom. Christ will help us, He loves us more than we can ask or imagine!