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By Father Charles Irvin

Lay ministers responding to God's call

God calls. We respond. In the Old Testament, the Father called a chosen people. Among them he called kings, patriarchs, and prophets. Jesus called his apostles and disciples to be laborers in God’s vineyard and to reveal God’s kingdom here on earth. The Holy Spirit calls us now and empowers all with his many and various gifts to build up the body of Christ, his Church. All of us are called to live as temples of the Holy Spirit and apostles of his care.

Lay ministry is a generic term that covers a wide variety of ministries exercised by the laity –  full- time, part time, in official Church offices, or in volunteer associations. Some are teachers, others are parish coordinators; some work in diocesan offices, and some are given administrative responsibilities in parishes. Most, however, work in the secular world. All are called to holiness no less than those called to holy orders, or to the religious life

All of us are called by God to work in whatever ways we can to transform the world be revealing God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. The Holy Spirit is always at work in many, varied, and sometimes mysterious ways. We should not, therefore, be looking for uniformity in ministering; we should always be looking for and working toward unity, a unity that comes in working with our bishops and pastors.

Is the Holy Spirit calling you? Is he whispering into your soul’s ears, urging you again and again to share your time and talents in accomplishing his work? Is there an area of ministry not yet established in your parish family that you have an interest in developing? Remember that Jesus told his followers not to hide their gifts, their talents, their lights under a bushel but rather to put them on a lampstand so all might see? False humility (a favorite tool of the devil) may be holding you back.  Jesus, however, said: “Let your light shine so that all may give glory not to you but to your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:15)

Remember that if you don’t love God and serve his purposes just as you, in your own uniqueness, then he will never be loved and served in that way by anyone else. You are infinitely special in God’s eyes and in his grand scheme of things. He is calling. How will you respond?