ACTIONS FIRST – SERVE, LISTEN, THEN SPEAK.
You may know that I belong to the Institute of Charity, a religious order. We are in many countries, including Tanzania and Kenya in East Africa. We established ourselves there 72 years ago. We run schools, parishes, health centers, and a formation house. Our good priests, sisters, and brothers from Ireland didn’t move in and open shop, deciding what they needed. No.
We moved in and lived for a few years among the people in the same type of quarters they lived. We learned their language and got to know what they needed and wanted. We helped them build an infrastructure. We listened and got to know them through our actions. The fruit behind all our activity was a love that accepted them where they were and a willingness to let them grow at their own pace.
We might think that the next step was evangelization, sharing the Gospel with them. But the Gospel was preached with the first shovel of dirt that was dug and every shovel that followed.
“Love one another as I have loved you,” said Jesus. The first thing Jesus did was not preach a sermon on the side of a mountain. He was conceived, born, and lived as a human being among us for 30 years before He opened His mouth and said, “The Kingdom of God is among you.” He got to know us, and we got to know Him.
Who will you get to know, and how will you do it?
IGNITE THE FIRE!
Fr. Rick Pilger, IC