Once after reading an auto repair shop’s mission statement a thousand times while waiting in line, I told the manager that, given their performance, the statement could have been reduced to one word: “whatever.” Writing a mission statement is easy; there are even “mission statement templates.” Doing the mission is the challenge.
Similarly, as individuals we can’t be content with lives marked only by our good intentions. When Jesus told his audience that “Tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God before you,” it was a wake-up call. Contentment with intention without action keeps us lounging comfortably on the couches of our lives, keeps us from giving ourselves fully to God’s exciting project.
James Brown sang, “Get up offa that thing, and dance ’til you feel better.” Let’s do just that. Let’s leave our metaphorical couches and get out on the dance floor with Jesus.
—Fr. Martin Connell, S.J. is a professor of education and Rector of the Jesuit community at John Carroll University, University Heights OH.