We are sent to greet the world year-round Print
Living and Learning
Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 -- 1:00 AM

Living and Learning by Msgr. Daniel T. GanshertNow begins the sending and receiving of greeting cards by the hundreds of thousands. May you enjoy both, especially the messages going and coming to and from your family and friends and all.

Basically, even though you and I do not wear any postage, we might think of ourselves as a greeting all year round. That is because every time a Mass ends, we are sent to our families, friends, and all with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

When we actively participate in the Mass, not just as listeners, not just as speakers, but as doers, we are brought together in unity by the Holy Spirit. We are transformed. We act on the personal and communal level. We become a living offering. We grow in our love for God with our hearts and minds and this affects what we do during Mass and after we leave.

In other words, we do not leave our faith in church. We go to Mass so that we can take our faith renewed to our workplace, to school, into the community. It means, for instance, in our work-a-day world that we consciously strive to live out our faith so that when it comes to handling ourselves, we use our heads, and when it comes to handling others, we use our hearts.

It means, for example, that we try to refrain from judging others. Why? Because we are continually reminded at Mass that we are not a courthouse. Each of us is a temple and God dwells within us. As St. Paul says, " . . . you are . . . a temple of God with the Spirit of God living in you."

It means that our active participation at Mass celebrates, not just on Sunday, but also on Monday and everyday, the different kinds of spiritual gifts we all have, the different forms of service we all do, the different and varied workings that God produces in each and every one of us.

Yes, our hearts and minds are changed at Mass. Then we are sent to greet the world as those who have received the Holy Spirit so that others might see and love in us what they see and love in Christ -- a living offering to God the Father.

We are sent forth to renew the face of the earth. We go to Mass not only for ourselves, but for all of our sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the world with whom we are to be of one heart and one mind. No envelope can ever contain such an awesome greeting: the image of Christ, made visible in his faithful people.

Msgr. Daniel Ganshert is the vicar general for the Diocese of Madison.