If you were at any of the masses this weekend, you heard Fr. Pat finally address the financial needs for our parish master planning and capital campaign. I personally was struck by the story he told in his homily, about the 1812 Overture. The canons are the big deal in that piece of music, but he pointed out that as he heard some rehearsals for an outdoor performance of the music, he heard canons going off alone and without the benefit of preface. That made them noisy and loud, which canons are.
He went on to say that it was the preface of the piccolo during the actual piece that made the canons into something else. This struck me in more than one way. The first way was exactly what he was talking about, that the small and beautiful sound of the piccolo paved the way for the power and the glory of those canons. Some of you might already see where I am headed.
For me, I thought about how God came to us in human form, in Jesus Christ. God could have sent a booming and loud canon of a human person, but God took the form of gentle beauty in Jesus. This prepared us for the coming glory, or at least that is what we believe.
I was also reminded of the power of what Fr. Pat calls “common union,” the power of all of our gifts, offered and gathered at the table. Take a look at the communion line in our parish one day. You see people great and small, and I mean literally and figuratively. You see a surprising number of races and ethnicities, even in our generally not so diverse area. (Although we are growing more diverse, aren’t we?) You see old and young, rich and poor, happy and sad, healthy and infirm.
We need one another. That is what God asks of us in Christ, to be one. None of us exists alone, piccolo or canon. And our parish thrives because of the power of common union and community in Christ.
And that is what will be at the heart of whatever we do or do not do going forward.
So next time you are at church, look around and you will see the truth of what was said during the homily… St Edward’s is a place where everyone can feel welcome. The sheer size can be daunting, but the sheer size of the heart of the community and the open doors are the power of love in action. That is the power of many gathered in Christ, not single canons… or piccolos. We all work together as one in common union in Jesus.
But about those pledges… What can I say? First I say pray, and pray with open ears. See where you are urged and what practicality deems realistic for you. I can tell you this, I am a piccolo when it comes to pledge time! But that does not matter! What matters is that I, we – you – all keep coming to the table. We offer what we can, God seeks our presence, not presence qualified by power or prestige. Great and small we are all called.
And in Christ, may we all respond, in whatever way, great or small, that we can. The amount means very little without the heart, and it is open hearts that are called for here. May we go forth as One in Jesus name, the presence of that same Christ, always in Clifton Park.