Are We Doing Our Job?

A few weeks ago, I read a biography of Dorothy Day. That book sparked a lot of thoughts, which I’ll go into at some point, but this quote made me think of it today, because Dorothy actually baptized her daughter before she became Catholic herself. Her struggle was the contradiction between the power of the Church’s teachings on social justice and the reality of Catholic communities whose focus was Bingo and card games. Community building is important, but so is going out and doing the work of the Kingdom, and that work is a lot more challenging and less fun.

Within the pastoral music community, periodically someone brings up a point that never fails to make me squirm: if your choir is just singing on Sundays, you’re not really doing your job. Is your music ministry reaching out? Working food banks and soup kitchens? Helping at crisis pregnancy centers? Joining in interfaith service events?

Once a year, after Christmas, my choir puts on a concert to benefit a charity. So we’ve done step one. But this Scripture is a pinprick to my conscience, reminding me that my community (whether that means my choir or my parish) is not supposed to be insular. What has been given to me is supposed to overflow to others.

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