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Ada Simpson


Answering the call to proclaim Christ to the world

I was shopping the other day; I was purchasing two items, and I was in a hurry. Only one cashier was working, and I was the third person in line. The young woman at the head of the line was trying to pay for her purchase. There was just one problem — she didn't have enough money. The cashier called a manager, who voided the sale and left. The cashier rescanned some of the woman's items, only to discover that the price of the remaining items still exceeded the woman's cash in hand. Again, the manager was summoned. At this point everyone was annoyed — the cashier, the manager, the man in front of me in line — and I must confess I was a bit bothered too. After a third round of removing and rescanning items, she counted out her last bit of change, and her purchase was finally complete. She stepped to one side to organize herself before going out into the parking lot and a horrendous downpour. As she turned, I realized that she was pregnant, and it looked like her baby would be arriving soon. As I paid for my items, the cashier continued to complain loudly about the woman. My heart broke for the young mother-to-be, who clearly felt humiliated. Before I had a chance to offer a word of solace, she passed through the door and out into the storm. As I left, I felt remorse; I had missed an opportunity to live out the gospel, and I wondered how often we all let these potential moments of grace slip away.

In ML this month, we explore ways that we use our faith to reshape the world around us and draw others closer to God. Corinna Laughlin reflects on the role of extraordinary ministers of holy communion, reminding us that they are not a liturgical function but rather ministers of pastoral care. Megan Kush shares her experiences as a member of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, tracing a journey of grace and faithfulness and striving for peace, justice, and equality for the disadvantaged. Mary Ann Wachtel examines the ministry of consolation, its mission, its vision, and how with the right training we can comfort the bereaved. Ron Raab offers his experience in preaching to the fragile-hearted, reminding us of the connection between faith and service and the importance of bringing Christ to those outside our church doors.

Just as the woman in the store passed through the doorway and out into a storm, people around us pass from our church doors out into the storms of life swirling about them. Do we have the courage, the conviction, the compassion to pass over the threshold, to step through the doorway and walk with them? Are we able to move beyond our prejudice, our pride, our preconceptions? When we walk bravely and boldly with our Lord and Savior, when we share, and proclaim, and live a life of faith, we provide an open door that reveals light in the darkness and the glory of God through Jesus Christ.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, [then] I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me."
(Rv 3:20; brackets in original) ML