Dear Brothers and Sisters,

There is a “call” that is given to each of us. Each of us are called uniquely to go into the vineyard to preach the gospel. Our response to this call is so important, not only to ensure the spread of the gospel, but also to ensure we each embrace our own personal call whether subtle or life changing. How we respond depends on our openness and willingness to go into the vineyard to do the work being offered to us. Work…“offered”? Yes, an opportunity to serve.

God is not a puppeteer dictating our every move, but rather allows us and waits for us to respond to His call. He offers us opportunities to witness to our faith in His Son. How willing are we to take Him up on his offers? I will go out on a limb and say that many of us struggle with God’s call. I know for myself that life’s challenges distract me from faithfully listening and answering the call(s). The temptation of selfishness and thinking “I know best” tend to distort my response to God’s call into the vineyard. Thank you, Jesus, for revealing to us a patient Father who helps us understand what is written on our hearts.

We know that the vineyard is vast. Saint Pope John Paul II told us to not be afraid. God calls us to preach through our actions towards those whom we have ongoing relationships and those whom we may only exchange a brief encounter. It does not matter the relationship. It’s our witness to the Father’s care for each of us that matters. In a world torn by so many natural and human made struggles, we are called to go and teach all nations the love and mercy of God. Let us not say yes and then go hide. Allow yourself to struggle with the call and then trust in His help as you enter the vineyard. What a challenge God’s call can be, but let us not forget what a blessing it can be for the vineyard.

As we begin a new calendar season and a new month, let us breathe in the beauty that Autumn offers. With the many beautiful colors let us contemplate the abundant beauty of God’s love. Our response to this season can help us spread that beauty. Remember that little acts of kindness can bring the beauty that fills our heart and minds into the life of another. Once again, I encourage all of us to be attentive to family members and neighbors that may be struggling. Shorter daylight hours can increase peoples’ anxieties, especially the elderly and the sick. Let us continue to be attentive to our responsibilities during the ongoing pandemic and respond to the opportunities offered in God’s vineyard.

Peace of Christ, Fr. Workman