Building the Kingdom
Dear POP Folks,
In case you missed this important fact or are new to the community, my mother's name was Mary and my father was a carpenter. He also had some Jewish blood in his ancestry and fled the deserts of the Texas panhandle for the Promised Land of Missouri. Sadly, the similarities cease there. As their first-born son, I have proved to be neither divine nor the long-awaited Messiah.
The last house Dad constructed, in the mid-1960s, was a masterpiece of foresight. For his five children, he built four bathrooms, a living room, den, family room, and recreation room. There were phone outlets everywhere. The driveway was a great wide half-circle that could accommodate 14 vehicles. Living on a hill in sometimes-icy Missouri, we had two chances to hit the drive from either direction. He figured that with all that concrete, his landscaping was safe from the parking deficiencies of five teenagers.
Using only motor vehicles, we successfully took out every tree, plant, flower and bush in the first year. Somebody figured out that the bathrooms were close enough to the phone jacks that they could become impromptu phone booths, excluding for hours others who desperately sought to use the facilities.
The Prince of Peace family, likewise has to continue to address challenges like parking, restrooms, meeting rooms and gathering space. We continue to grow in numbers and activities that serve our faith commitment.
Thanks to our parents, we have additional children and youth.
Thanks to the oil industry, the Houston economy and the lack of snowstorms, we have a lot of new neighbors and members. Like any family, our task is to assess what we need, what resources we have and then to prioritize what we will build or restructure in our parish plant.
St. Paul tells us that we are the Body of Christ (I Corinthians and Romans). This means that the needs of the Church are never "their" problem or "those people's" issue. Our newborns and our seniors, our unemployed and our wealthy, our youth and our young adults, our disabled and our athletes are all us. WE are the Body of Christ.
Over this summer, we will be praying and talking and listening and discerning. As we retire our current debt (thank you, everybody!) we must face the ministry issues of this and future generations.
Our parish patrons, the Blessed Mother and St. Francis, will always remind us that we are about bringing Christ into the world and caring for those in need. As we build, we will not cease being Christ-bearers or servants of the poor. We will continue the journey, together, of becoming the Christians Jesus is enabling us to be.