Nowadays, Catholics shop and hop for parishes that meet their needs. For the most part, churches have become more as a customer service and technical support of God than a lighthouse that fearlessly reminds people of the signs of times. Membership has altered, too. It’s no longer territorial unlike in the past but of course, there are those who still follow the traditional practice that regardless of the quality of the liturgy, music, hospitality and sermon, people stay within their parish boundaries. The personality, character, pastoral style and approach, and the over all demeanor of the Priest carries a lot of weight. Even if his sermons are dry and downright boring, if people perceive him as holy man and genuine Shepherd whose heart is bursting with compassion and kindness, it’s a real catch. Jeremiah 26 is a prophetic reminder to every preacher not to water down the Word received even if it makes people uncomfortable in the pews. Anyone involved in ministry must be aware that the Gospel, by its nature, creates a stir. The message is not political or social but divine. I keep reminding myself almost every minute not to succumb to the temptation of transforming St James into my own image and likeness in order to fit into the equation whatever that means. Evangelization must be on top of the priority list and not fund raising projects to defray skyrocketing debts. Everything else follow, hopefully. Amen.