The Church that Feeds People

Pentecost service


Faith Catalyst

vocationsThere is a concept in chemistry is called a catalyst. A catalyst is a substance that causes two other substances to react, or speeds up a reaction within another substance. You can see entertaining examples of this by searching for, “chemistry catalyst demo”, in your favorite search engine. One popular demonstration of a catalyst uses hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide naturally breaks down into water and oxygen gas, but that happens very slowly; so slowly that you cannot see it happening. If put some hydrogen peroxide into a clear container, like a plastic bottle, it just sits there inert. Add a catalyst, like potassium permanganate or yeast, and the decomposition speeds up dramatically. If you put some dish soap and food coloring into the peroxide before you add the catalyst, you get a geyser of colored foam.

Sometimes we need a catalyst, metaphorically speaking, in our own lives. How do you get started on a new exercise program? How do you make working-out a priority when your life is already full? There are any number of habits or disciplines that we struggle with. Every once in a while, though, something changes. Something happens, or someone says something that gets our attention and we change our behavior. There is some sort of catalyst that activates our desire or our commitment, that overcomes our resistance or reluctance, and we act.

Your life has a purpose. You have a vocation. All of us do. Your vocation may not be what you do, or did, for a living. There is often a difference between what we are paid to do and what we are made to do. Each of us are given gifts and talents and interests that color or shape our lives and the ways in which we express the purpose of our lives. The thing is, God has a purpose for your life, whether you are retired, or a teacher, or a web developer, or you work in a grocery store. God has a purpose for your life, so you have a vocation. You have a calling. You are called to live out your faith.

Sometimes our faith needs a catalyst. We need to be inspired to act on our faith. The catalyst could be a medical crisis or a personal tragedy. The catalyst could be witnessing injustice in the world, or it could be seeing homelessness or suffering of another kind in your neighborhood, in your city, or in the world. Wherever your inspiration comes from, know this: Your life has a purpose, and Jesus is calling you to live out that purpose.


  1. Doreen Duggan says:

    Rev. Marshall:
    Unfortunately I won’t be at the meeting on Sunday as I will be winging my way to Hawaii for 6 weeks. However I don’t know if my vote would count but I am in favor of reducing the Vestry size to around 7 or 9. I agree that sometimes less is better than more and as long as there is an odd number 9 should be fine.
    I did manage to come by the office and purchase a couple of tickets for the Valentine party and asked Barb to give the two tickets to someone who would like them and was maybe was a little short on cash. I think she passed this message on to the Guild.
    I know the budget will be first class with Harvey at the helm. As the wife of an ex-church Treasurer, or should I say the ex-wife of an ex church Treasurer I know how much time and effort goes into closing the books and preparing a new budget to meet all financial constraints and cover costs. It’s wonderful that you are “in the black” and as you say much of this is due to Harvey’s diligence, skill and foresight. Have fun on Sunday.

  2. Dennis Beals says:

    Fr. David—
    Thank you for your most timely message. It was just what I needed to hear at this stage of my life’s journey.

    Dennis Beals

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