Bishop David Motiuk

Bishop David Motiuk

June 13, 2011
RAMON GONZALEZ
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

FORT SASKATCHEWAN — Holiness and discipleship means sharing our gifts and resources with others, says Alberta's Ukrainian Catholic bishop.

"It's really what we do with the gifts that we are entrusted with that defines who we are as Christians," says Bishop David Motiuk.

Speaking at the annual Alberta-Mackenzie convention of the Catholic Women's League June 3, Motiuk said God is expecting something new of us.

"We are being called (by God) to take risks and to trust one another."

The bishop reflected on the Gospel story of the multiplication of the loaves to illustrate his message.

FEED THE PEOPLE

In the story, the disciples wanted to send the crowd away, but Jesus commanded them to feed the people.

When Jesus asks us to feed the starving in the far reaches of the world, "he is asking us the impossible," Motiuk said.

But Christians are called to do the impossible.

The needs of humanity are enormous and we are called to respond to them "with the few loafs of bread and the few fish that we have."

THE NEGLECTED ONES

According to the story, 5,000 men, not counting women and children, were listening to Jesus.

Those not counted might have been those who were sick and unable to get to where Jesus was speaking, the elderly, the prostitutes, lepers, those who were unacceptable, strangers, Gentiles and the outcast - in other words, the true followers of Christ.

Who in our churches would we not count today?

They might include, he said, people who don't come to church anymore but were baptized, those who come occasionally, those in spiritual and physical crises, those separated or divorced who don't know the Church still has a place for them, those with a different sexual orientation, those who are sick or terminally ill, and the elderly and poor, those who cannot drive.

FALLING THROUGH CRACKS

Motiuk wondered why these people are falling through the cracks when Christians are supposed to love them.

"Don't all those people who are not counted within the Church have the dignity of being created in the image and likeness of God?"

The fact Jesus was able to feed 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish was a miracle, but the bishop pointed to an even greater miracle that took place: "The miracle of sharing."

What we have must be shared with those who don't have, Motiuk said.

"Are we not our brothers' and our sisters' keepers?"