What About You? What Will You Do?

In the Catholic Church, today’s feast day honors a saint from Philadelphia, Katharine Drexel (1858-1955). While he was visiting Philadelphia this past fall, Pope Francis talked about an event that would change St. Katherine’s life and effect the lives of countless people who benefited by her ministry and the millions she gave away in service to the poor. Here’s what the Holy Father said of her, and how he used her example to challenge his listeners and now us with these questions, “What about you? What will you do?”

“Most of you
know the story of Saint Katharine Drexel, one of the great saints raised up by
this local Church. When she spoke to Pope Leo XIII of the needs of the
missions, the Pope – he was a very wise Pope! – asked her pointedly: “What
about you? What are you going to do?”. Those words changed Katharine’s life,
because they reminded her that, in the end, every Christian man and woman, by
virtue of baptism, has received a mission. Each one of us has to respond, as
best we can, to the Lord’s call to build up his Body, the Church.

“What about
you?” I would like to dwell on two aspects of these words in the context of our
particular mission to transmit the joy of the Gospel and to build up the
Church, whether as priests, deacons, or members of institutes of consecrated

First, those
words – “What about you?” – were addressed to a young person, a young woman
with high ideals, and they changed her life. They made her think of the immense
work that had to be done, and to realize that she was being called to do her
part. How many young people in our parishes and schools have the same high
ideals, generosity of spirit, and love for Christ and the Church! Do we
challenge them? Do we make space for them and help them to do their part? To
find ways of sharing their enthusiasm and gifts with our communities, above all
in works of mercy and concern for others? Do we share our own joy and
enthusiasm in serving the Lord?

One of the
great challenges facing the Church in this generation is to foster in all the
faithful a sense of personal responsibility for the Church’s mission, and to
enable them to fulfill that responsibility as missionary disciples, as a leaven
of the Gospel in our world. This will require creativity in adapting to changed
situations, carrying forward the legacy of the past not primarily by
maintaining our structures and institutions, which have served us well, but
above all by being open to the possibilities which the Spirit opens up to us
and communicating the joy of the Gospel, daily and in every season of our life.”

By seedthrower1

I'm passionate about helping people realize that God wants to make something new of them and bring about a permanent transformation in their lives: body, mind, and spirit.

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