My SUV hasn’t been cleaned in nearly 5 months, I mean really cleaned. I’ve thrown away the trash, but the dash board has dust plastered to it and the floor mats are grimy. I used to clean my truck every week - from top to bottom. Now, there’s just not time.
There is a lab/red-bone hound mix in my back seat, NOT in the cargo space where he is supposed to be. He’s trying to make his way to the front passenger seat.
We stop at Sonic. The woman who brings our food to the window knows us. She knows my usual order and my dog’s name - but not mine and I don’t remember hers. (We come here more than we should.) I know she has two kids and she knows I do, too. Curious.
“Hi Seamus”, she says, as she pets him through the window. We drive away and eat french fries while we ride through noontime traffic.
We stop at a traffic light. I begin to wonder as I pass another french fry back to my co-pilot, “Why don’t I know this woman’s name?” She’s knows I am a priest and that I work at a church. She’s asked me about my church and I told her about it. But I never invited her to attend. Why not?
I wonder, “How many other people have I forgotten to invite to church?” Why? I’m friendly enough with people I see on a regular basis (at the grocery, the dry cleaners, Sonic, the gas station, and other places) for them to know I’m a priest (with a family and a dog). Sometimes that’s odd for some of them, that I am priest and married and have a family. I know because I can see their faces and sometimes they ask about it.
Why haven’t I invited them to church?
Maybe that’s the wrong question. Why haven’t I told them about my relationship with God and the community I worship God in? I wonder if they find it odd that I haven’t really brought it up much? Curious. I think I’ll ask them.
The light has turned green. I push on the gas and give another fry to my passenger who is now riding shotgun.
Jesus invites the disciples who ask Him where he was staying to “Come and see." And He invites us to do the same. That is all we have to do to invite others to know who Jesus is.
Fr. Will +