Saturday, June 22, 2013

What are you wearing today?

Kind of quiet these days in Bozeman since the University is on summer break.  But summer also brings new opportunities to grow in our faith. This weekend Jesus reminds his followers that they each must embrace the cross if they are to follow him.  The same is true for us... After all, we have been "Clothed In Christ"! As much as we like to say it is not the clothes that make a person, we do at times tend to judge on appearance.  But in one way it can also remind us that as styles and tastes change, we are to be engaged to the world and not insulated or fearful of it.

In his ordination homily on Friday, Bishop Thomas challenged not only the newly ordained, but all of us gathered to recall the struggles at the announcement of the Second Vatican Council.  Not as well known is the small but vocal group of Cardinals who tried to railroad the call to not only a renewed understanding of the church, but a willingness to live the gospel in light of the times we live. This was truly something new, but also something very old.  It is as old as the Gospel we hear today.  A lived Christian faith cannot be isolated in the safety of a church, community, or personal piety.  While all are great places to express the faith, without it being lived in and among the entire world, hence the cross, it is empty and without use. In the light of today’s gospel, would like to share his thoughts to these newly ordained and to us all.

Strive for holiness.  Develop the taste and longing for the Lord.  “My Soul is Thirsting” is the psalm today. Prayer begins with a desire to commune with the divine. And there are numerous ways in which to-do this. Hopefully we all have a prayer life. Yes some of us can say at times “I am too busy”, but at what cost.  Our sense or appetite for God diminishes and we find ourselves lost to being fed by only the temporal world. Working on our own holiness through prayer entails the cross.

Recognize and affirm our unity in diversity. The detractors at Vatican II wanted things to stay the way they were.  Well, that’s easy.  Not growth, nor the pain that comes from growth.  However we now cross cultures in marriage and family, races are blending, but a common thread binds all.  A desire for relationships, friends, a good life and the opportunity to contribute and utilize one’s potential with one eye fixed on the life to come.  When pointed toward a common good, we have unity in diversity.  This is lived in our art, foods, and especially in our worship. Working to accept the diversity of humanity with humility entails the cross.

Proclaim the gospel with conviction; sometimes we like to re-write the gospel for our own comfort. Or we chose to carefully negotiate our way through like one navigates a raft through rapids. The gospel has rocks and rapids, deserts with snakes and scorpions, ice and snow, wind and chill, lightning and clouds that may challenge us. Yet if we stick to the Lord’s message and proclaim it through our own lives, it will entail the cross.

Be centered on the Eucharist.  As the Eucharist and the Eucharistic liturgy is the source and summit of our Christian identity as proclaimed at Vatican II, to approach the sacred mysteries as community is essential.  The Eucharist breaks down barriers of class, race, nationality or anything else we erect to protect and divide us.   Given to the many for the forgiveness of sins. The Eucharist  encourages us to seek God’s mercy, and as Bishop challenged those newly ordained we too are challenged to seek God’s forgiveness and mercy in the sacrament of reconciliation.  Admitting our own wrongs based on the teaching of the gospel and pouring out our own bodies and blood for others entails the cross. We witness a community centered in the Eucharist by our stewardship. The many who sacrifice time to serve meals to hundreds of students and adults weekly during the academic year,  each parent who strives to sacrifice for their own children. Liturgical ministers who serve out of love of the mass.  Sacrificial tithing to the church and her endeavors.  All entail the cross and the cross is our hope.

Just saying “Christ is the Messiah” can be risky….We see this in the persecution of our Christian sisters and brothers in some Muslim countries. But saying Christ is the Messiah, the savior, by our own words and actions in offering salvation towards others can and will entail the cross.  Perhaps some words of comfort.  We have already bee configured to Christ in Baptism and as Paul says, you have “clothed yourselves with Christ”   Since much of our sin comes from the way others appear to us, we might be cautious in not judging on appearance as we have all been clothed with Christ. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home