I often have wondered if it is enough for love to be attractive in our ministry. We find ourselves putting on catechetical programs that put is in a stage of making Jesus popular: offering social groups to belong, pizza and drinks, prizes, social status. I wonder if it is enough to get people into Church and put them through programs to push them through sacraments.
Today’s celebration of the great Cure of Ars, moves me to think differently. John Vianney was not the brightest man in the seminary, yet his zeal and love for the Lord Jesus moved him to convert his little village north of France to Christ and his Church. He worked tirelessly, undergoing spiritual battles with the devil, sitting in his confessional to a recorded 14 hours a day, absolving sins!
Perhaps exuding an attractive love for Jesus is only a starting point in the Christian life. That love must move us to offer people their freedom. Not to do whatever they want, but to will the good of others, living in the will of God. We offer them freedom from sin and vices, to be who they are – children of God! From there flows a desire to tell the world about Jesus and the joy we have of living in and through him. May Saint John be our guide in this great task of ministry.