Can you imagine what kind of response I would get if I asked my three children, “Who would like to volunteer to clean up the kitchen after dinner today?” Six eyeballs staring at me like I had two heads! If I couch my request in terms of volunteerism, I have suggested that they don’t have any real ownership in this matter. Perhaps they do sometimes think that their mother and I are simply hired hands to take care of them, but rest assured, I have not received a paycheck for services rendered lately.
When you and I give a donation of blood, we volunteer our time and blood to the Red Cross. The Red Cross does not employ most of us, nor do we own a part of the Red Cross. We can only volunteer ourselves for the cause.
As parishioners we are part of a parish family. We belong to our parish community. We do not visit on a Sunday morning, since we cannot visit a place that is home. The call of the body of Christ occurs in every parish and our response should be that of the psalmist, “Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.” Real stewardship never counts the cost and never asks for volunteers. We step forward because we belong to something greater than ourselves and the head of that community is Jesus. After dinner at my house, someone needs to clean up the kitchen. In your parish community, someone needs to respond to the call of Jesus. In both cases, no volunteers are needed. We will rely on family instead.
Tracy Earl Welliver, MTS