HI Michelle, like you I was struck by the same sentence which really says what true communion is. Your question "who, in the church reaches out?" is very poignant and challenging. I see people reaching out all the time in their day to day lives in little and big ways to spread God's love simply by being loving and kind. Ideally we go to Mass to worship and give thanks and gain strength and then go about our daily lives sharing that spirit in generosity, kindness and unselfishness to each other. But of course we are humans who have a selfish streak and are not always perfect. We are trying, we are all trying together with the realisation that God loves us no matter what. In the bible the shepherd does leave the flock to go searching for the one lost sheep. Can I love others like that? In my life, there are some people who are hard to love, and working through that kind of thing helps me grow. To be loving, to do the most loving thing is risky. But that is exactly what God asks of me. It's in community that I come to realise how deep and wide is God's love and in the imperfect community that is church I grow and learn and hopefully I contribute to other's growth. That's some of the reasons why I go to church but it's only a part of my spirituality. Talking to God, giving God a chance to work on me through meditating, sharing my life in a weekly Christian group, reading these are all other aspects. By celebrating Mass I feel part of the Communion of Saints, generations of people who have done the same thing down through the ages and people who are celebrating Mass all over the world. Somehow this boosts me. Trying not to judge people - even those who go to church is one of the most important things for me - only God knows a person's circumstances, situations and heart. He even knows me better than I know myself. It's important to be kind to me too.
Thanks for giving me food for thought Michelle,
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