In this time of economic uncertainty and financial hardship, many people are focused on their tangible needs: feeding families, paying the bills, clothing their children. I’m fortunate to live in a community that is a bit insulated from the growing poverty and economic strife brought by the country’s recession.
But my community is starving.
Not for want of food or material items, but with a burning spiritual hunger. Most of our families do not worry about putting food on the table each night. They have a roof over their head, two cars in the driveway, several big screen televisions and from all outward appearances a nice life. Yet, there is dissatisfaction, a raw unease among many. We need something more.
Our society encourages families to focus on bigger, better and more of everything. We strive to succeed at any cost. Society tells us not to be content with the small abundant blessings in our everyday lives, but to seek more.
We must not overlook this need and hunger that secretly plagues communities, families, and lives across our nation. The spiritual need.
In our community, God has sent Fr. John Rooney to feed our spiritual hunger. Every Sunday, Fr. John reminds us to focus on our faith, the beauty of the Sacraments and the fullness of truth offered in our Church. We are called to recognize the need to prioritize our lives around God, Faith and Family, and tune out society’s loud incessant messages.
While many of us have spent the last decade seeking larger homes, new cars, the latest tech gadgets, or the best sports teams for our kids to quell the churning hunger we feel, Father John uniquely shows us that what we are truly searching for-- the only thing that will quench our hunger-- is Christ.
God is there, loving us, waiting for us to be open to him. The message is clear, “God is more for us, than we can be for ourselves.” With gentleness and a bit of humor, Fr. John repeatedly educates our parishioners about God’s love and invites us to allow God to be in control of our lives.
The congregation is nourished by his abundant faith, leading and guiding our own faith in our parish, the Catholic Church and in each other. We are called back to the table to be fed by the Bread of Life. In our one parish, one community, lives are being changed, lost Catholics reborn, and children filled with the Holy Spirit. The gift of God’s grace is ever present to provide exactly what is needed in a community many would think needs nothing.