The Bishop of Southeast Florida Addresses His Diocesan Convention
"I don't know if it is because of my new recently acquired senior status or due to the fact that I am actually getting old that I have been recently meditating on my ministry. I have been pondering during the past months looking back at my ministry throughout the years as a lay person, a deacon, a priest and a bishop.
Has it all been worthwhile, all the effort and work throughout the many years of my life?In noting that membership was up 2%, average Sunday attendance was up 2%, and Plate and Pledge was up 3% over the previous year, the bishop said: "Yes, we can rejoice in our growth—our commitment to bring others to Christ--but we also can rejoice in our commitment to love our neighbor as ourselves."
Have I done what was required from me as a Christian?
As your bishop I wonder: Are you and I doing what God wants us to do as a Diocese?
What about our mission? Are we on the right track?
Should we concentrate more on evangelism or should we focus more on social work to alleviate the suffering of our world?
Throughout time I have always tried to do my utmost to be faithful to the Christ that I serve. I have been committed to do my best and to obey Christ's commandments for me and his Church.
How can I be sure that what we are doing is what God wants us to do?
Well, throughout the years I have always tested my life and my work based on Christ's teachings from the Scriptures.
When I read God's Word I have found two major teachings of Christ that have guided me throughout the years to model my life and my ministry.
One of those teachings is the Great Commission of our Lord to his disciples found in the 28th Chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew:
''Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.'' (MT. 28:19-20)
The second teaching from Christ that keeps guiding my life, my work and my decisions in the Church can be found in the 12th Chapter of Mark verses 28 to 31. Our Lord is asked: ''Which commandment is the first of all?'' Jesus answered: 'The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this. 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.' "
Read his full address here.
Biographical information on the bishop, born in Havana, Cuba, is here.
Trinity Cathedral, Miami, is here.