Scarcity & Abundance

Oct 19, 2017

Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

One of the talks given at the meetings I recently attended was on the concept of "scarcity & abundance." While these are natural states that can describe almost everything, from a precious resource like gold to more subjective items like a person's humor or the amount of bad news we hear. While it is true that there is only a finite amount of gold in the world, the "scarcity or abundance" of some items can be manipulated, such as, diamonds, whose value is strictly controlled by creating a false scarcity. Or, peace, which we are often told is in short supply.

The person who gave the talk was applying this principle to religious life, and the fact that we come together as individuals, at least in part, to overcome our own scarcities. What one member lacks, others may have in abundance. A task that one person alone might find to be insurmountable, a group may accomplish with relative ease.

The same can be said about most groups, like a parish community. A couple of Sundays ago we came together to sign up for various ministries. We were each asked to evaluate our own personal skills and interests and offer them for the good of the community. What St. Paul eloquently described using his metaphor of "the body". We have each been commanded to build the kingdom of God. This is a task that would be impossible as individuals, and thus, we come together as a community, each offering their own gifts. What one individual lacks, another person might have in abundance.

What is it that you bring to our community's "soup-pot"? We have all tasted soup at one time or another and found it lacking something. The same can be said about our ministries and evangelical efforts. This is why it is so important that each and every one of us share in the labor. None of us can do it alone. Each of us has at least one scarcity or another. However, when we do come together as a community, as The Body of Christ, then we lack nothing, for we truly have been blessed in abundance.   

The Redemptorists were brought together by faith in the abundance of God's mercy, the fullness of Redemption. What do you think brings us together as a parish community? What is lacking on the corner of Cook & Grand? ...on the North-Side? the city of St. Louis? The Catholic Church? ...or even, the world? What scarcity have we been called together to address? Once we have come together as a parish community, what can we offer to the larger community? We can all name a number of scarcities, is there one that we can pour our own abundance into and quench that thirst? I have a few ideas, but what about you? What do you see as The Rock Church's "abundance?" And what is it that you personally contribute toward that kingdom building abundance? What is God calling you, and us, to contribute to that community soup-pot, so that each and every one of God's children may live in abundance?

In the Redeemer,

Fr. Rick