by Bill Scholl
Jesus shares, “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing” (Lk 12:49).
Recently, Archbishop Naumann gathered with over 1,500 firestarters to discern how Catholics can enkindle this blaze in northeast Kansas at the Enflame convocation.
One of the key themes was to “Enflame our Communities” with the love of God by caring for people through works of mercy, both on an individual and collective level.
This theme ties in with another of the archbishop’s goals: to get every archdiocesan parish twinning with another parish to collaborate on projects of mercy and support by Advent 2020.
It is a smart approach for our parishes to engage the world two by two, just as Jesus sent out his disciples.
At the Enflame convocation, parish delegates asked: We know our world needs the fire of God’s love, but how do we bring this love to others?
The answer proposed is to bring the love of God to our friends, family and community by “Enflaming Our Hearts, Our Homes and Our Communities” with a “prayer, share, care” approach. Christianity starts and spreads by friendship, because love is how the invisible God is made visible (1 Jn 4:12).
It is for this reason that Jesus sent his 72 disciples “out two by two” (Mk 6:7).
Twinning up, especially with those who are different from us, cultivates a sort of spiritual disposition that equips and empowers us to engage others.
This twinning tactic not only works for individuals, but for individual congregations as well.
As Catholic disciples, we are living in an exciting time here in northeast Kansas. We are painfully aware of institutional sins and mistakes that defame the holy name of Jesus.
We know that Jesus is calling us to heal the hurt through new approaches to sharing our timeless faith.
One of these new approaches is for each of our parishes to twin with another to make manifest the love of God through projects of mercy and support.
The office for social justice is here to accompany your parish by giving clarity on the twinning goal and tools for discernment. In the coming months, we will be reaching out to hear and share about the good things happening in parishes that have already twinned and to offer training and resources for parishes getting ready to twin.
Please contact my office with questions or to schedule an orientation for your parish leadership.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.