Pastor's Note - August 25, 2013

From the Pastor’s Desk:

 

We are in the last days of camp. Just a few more days and we’ll soon be able to sleep in our usual beds, enjoy good home cooking and the pleasure of daily showers. It has been a good summer. Some bumps for sure but generally lots of fun. Every year, the camp staff makes clearer to me some aspect of our Christian faith. One evening, as I was returning from a little walk, I saw a staff member and a child running up some of our stairs. I could hear the laughter of both as they raced.  Now it may not be the best idea to race up stairs, but I couldn’t help but smile at the joy of a nineteen year old playing with a ten year old.  When we speak about our contemporary world or hear others speak of it, the words are often describing a very negative experience and outlook. Things are bad and people seem to be getting worse. It is tempting and easy to join in the chorus of negativity. And yet what I saw in this young woman who was racing with a child she didn’t really know was the joy of life that comes from the awareness of the goodness of life.

 

This week’s Gospel has the Lord again speaking in terms that may lead us to fear his presence in our lives and his judgment with regard to the life that is to come.  Christ says that “many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able.”  He then continues by speaking of an owner of a house who has locked his property at a certain hour and will no longer allow anyone else to enter.  Despite the knocking and pleading, the house owner will not open the doors once more, saying, “I do not know where you come from.”  I think that the statement of the house owner, that he doesn’t know where the others come from, that is, he does not know who they are, is for us, a moment of sadness.  In the practice of our faith, we are often instructed to keep our “eyes on the prize.”  And the prize is seen as eternal life.  While life everlasting is of the utmost importance, I do not think it is the “prize.”

 

The “prize” is the Lord himself!  Therefore, there can be few things that cause God as much sadness as, in a way, not knowing the ones God loves.  God does not force himself upon us, rather God speaks and invites in the most tender and gentle whispers.  It is true that the door is narrow, but I wonder if it is not we who make it so small and intimidating.  We carry around with us so much useless baggage – the things in which we hope will validate us, will express our value to God.  But as we heard in the Second Reading, we have “forgotten the exhortation that addresses [us] as children”, that is, children of God.  We don’t have to obstruct our way to God with needless ornaments.  In a way, we’re just fine as we are.  Our Christian lives express a joy that comes from the heart-felt recognition and understanding that indeed each is the child of God.  Knowing this in our hearts allows us to be with God as we are.  And being with God in this way, the way of freedom, we will know that God sees us, that God knows us and that God loves us.     

 

God Bless & Take Care,

 

 

Fr. John


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