Saturday 2 February 2019

Saturday of the 2nd Week of Easter

In any church community, we need to reach out and attend to both the physical and spiritual needs of the community. We cannot ignore one and only focus on the other. For example, if some in the community are poor and have little means to survive, then it is necessary to provide some form of financial and material help. We cannot just wash our hands and say: "Oh! My task is only to preach the Good News", and pretend that such physical help would take care of itself. By providing such physical help, we are also preaching the Good News through charitable actions and by showing God's love and care to others, especially the poor.

However, it is clear that different persons are needed to carry out different roles. We cannot be doing everything and it is necessary to let others do some things, while we concentrate on certain tasks. In today's reading, the apostles realised that it was not possible for them to devote themselves to the spiritual needs of the community and at the same time attend to the physical needs. To solve the problem, the apostles delegated authority to seven men of good reputation, who would see to the physical needs of the community, while the apostles continued to devote themselves to prayer and to the service of the word. By delegating authority in this way, both the spiritual and physical needs of the community could be attended to.

What about us? Are we willing to delegate authority just as the apostles did, so each of us could concentrate on certain tasks, so that the Good News could be shared through different ways? May we learn to delegate, so that the gifts and talents of different members of the community could be put to good use, for the good of the community and for the glory of God.

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