Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Matthew 9:32-38
Last year, after ten years of hosting a women's book club in my home, I introduced a new women's group, based on my wonderful work with WINE: Women In the New Evangelization, at my parish. I hesitated at first because I liked the comfort of being at home and having everybody come to me. It was easy, with little effort required. However, once the Holy Spirit nudged me to branch out, I knew I had to follow through. We created a team, planned fun activities, and choose a book to study.
At times, I worried whether or not we were providing what women wanted, especially those evenings when attendance waned. Also, the laborers felt few at times, bearing much of the burden uncomfortable asking for help; wondered if I should return to my simple home-group. My spiritual director used to scold me, when I complained about the challenges of being a superwoman, that I was stealing other people's blessings. Over time, I learned to ask for help. Yes, laborers are few, but that doesn't mean we give up; instead, I do what I can and continue to recruit. Running a women's group has been a steep learning curve; finding a balance of activities that engages everyone can be a difficult one.
Discouragement does not come from God, especially when the result is discontinuing to provide a way for others to encounter Him. Yes, there are still weeks I want to curl up on the couch with a book and let the group wither on the vine. But the work is too important to quit. So, I pray, stay the course, and continually learn how to serve the women at my parish and beyond. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be his hands and feet in the world.
What service are you providing for the church currently? Do you feel that it is a burden or a blessing? How can you make changes to be sure that it is more of a blessing, and that you can sustain it so that the laborers do not become even fewer?
The vineyard is indeed ripe and in need of harvesting. Lord, let us not allow those seeking You to wither on the vine while they wait for someone to care for them. Lord, bless all the women's groups that have been created throughout the world. May they continue to serve each other and not become discouraged, strengthened by Your grace and love. Amen.
Copyright 2020 Allison Gingras
About the Author
Allison Gingras created the Stay Connected Journals for Catholic Women (OSV), including "The Gift of Invitation" and "Seeking Peace: A Spiritual Journey from Worry to Trust." Her ministry focuses on the grace of prayer, Scripture, and sacrament. Allison is the national WINE Steward for WINE: Women In the New Evangelization and hosts A Seeking Heart podcast.