by Deacon Dana Nearmyer
Headquartered in Rome, we are each entrusted with marketing and representing our branch of arguably the oldest institution in the world, the Catholic Church.
We are humbled that our founder is an active CEO from heaven. Our Lord has high expectations and is not especially fond of being misrepresented.
Beauty, creativity, spiritual power and freedom, hope, trust, benevolence and goodness are some of his key values. His well-defined target market is the poor in spirit, meek, downtrodden, humble, widow, orphan and those on the peripheries.
He offers personal customer service to all who ask and even offers his Mother, Father and all of the saints to listen and intercede for us.
We are an organization founded by the “Great Physician”; our world is wounded and hurting.
We “market” our church and Our Lord in our attitudes, disposition, behavior and treatment of our spouses, family, friends, co-workers and those on the peripheries.
The Enflame: Our Hearts, Homes and Communities initiative is a wake-up call to each of us to contemplate life’s final exam questions. God asks two questions early in Scripture.
To Adam and Eve, God asks, “Where are you?” and to Cain, “Where is your brother?”
These are the profound existential questions that reveal God’s priorities for our lives. They are connected to “the final exam” we will be given at the end of our life.
In Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus told us what was going to be on the final!
The ultimate question on God’s exam is not a memorized response to a multiple choice question, but a reflection on the profundity of our relationship with Jesus: “Were you close enough to me such that our relationship made a palpable difference in your behavior?”
As Catholics, we serve to witness to the daily reminder of the existence of this final exam and the priority that God places on our answer.
The Enflame initiative aspires to motivate each of us to be more authentic to our true calling as beloved sons and daughters of our loving Father.
When we “Pray, Care and Share” for our “3, 12, 72 and Crowds,” we will Enflame: Our Hearts, Homes and Communities, and we daily answer the final exam questions well.
Individuals can go to the Enflame website at: archkcks.org and click “where to start.” We will be offering small group training both online and in-person this spring.
Parishes can use our “Convocation in a Box’’ tool to put on their own training or they can schedule one with us.
Camp Tekakwitha has been forming young people to “Pray, Care and Share” for several summers, and we have seen great fruit in that final exam preparation.
We are optimistic about offering camp this summer. Parish gatherings and diocesan retreats will slowly be coming back over the coming months, but this is not a time for complacency or procrastination.
The Catholic Church is needed now. Go to the Enflame website — archkcks.org — and click “where to start.”