This week’s Gospel has people actively seeking out Jesus. There is just something about Him! And, this same Jesus is just as awesome in the 21st century! And, coincidently, next week is: “Catechetical Sunday 2016”. Again, thank you to all those who help me in making CCD a reality for the parishes.
“Going to church”. It’s a phrase we all use I’m sure. We all know what it means, right? Of course we do…or do we? May I propose we all try to expand our vocabulary a bit? I mean, the phrase “going to church” is so generic. It’s so ordinary. But what we do “at church” is so extraordinary, isn’t it? I recall being inspired as a boy to hear a teacher once say (as we were going to daily Mass), “I’m going to offer my Holy Sacrifice” instead of “I’m going to church.” I recall wondering, what a strange way to say it. I wondered, “What does that mean, the holy sacrifice?” Can I tell you I am now grateful for his flowery language about church? (Do you notice I said HIS…not her. Faith is not supposed to be a woman’s thing…as it has become around here. This MALE teacher sacrificed his time, talent and life to be part of our life as students.) He helped me think twice about what we did each Sunday.
And here-in lies the rub. It seems to me one of the great problems of our time is that so many people don’t think twice about things, especially about great things. It reminds me of Thomas Sowell’s, (the great black conservative economist) description of many of today’s “progressive” thinkers. He laments that too many people are stuck in first stage thinking and never get to second stage thinking. By that he means, often a social policy or program sounds good at first because it’s title makes us feel good; but, too often the policy or program does not have the consequences it was planned to achieve or it has bad unintended consequences. (ex: Johnson’s “Great Society”, or Bush’s “No Child Left Behind”)
Therefore, if any of you who go to church on Sundays talk with other people about your fanatic weekend habit, next time say something like: “I’m off to give an hour to the Lord” or “I’m off to participate in the celestial banquet of the Lamb” or maybe even, “On Sundays I always take time to receive the Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Creator of the universe.” Doesn’t that force your listener to think twice about what’s going on in church? Maybe they won’t think that going to church on Sundays is something only “religious fanatics” do. Try it. I’d love to hear any strange comments you might get from neighbors or relatives.
I have another reason for challenging our boring vocabulary. I want us all think about the many different things we can do when we “go to church”. Of course there is the Holy Mass. That’s the main dish. But we need to recover a sense of going to church for devotions too. We especially need to remember the devotion called confession. And I do mean “confession”. I know we are suppose to call that little talk with the priest “reconciliation” but I much rather call it just plain confession. That’s a topic for another article. So…it’s been six months since Easter…and it’s time! I’ll be available for “Confession”…and yes…“absolution” too…Saturdays as always. Around 12:00 noon in Bowdle and 3:30 pm in Hoven. Hey, when you see that little green light on before Mass…let the Holy Spirit bring you into the light!
and…that God will lead us to make our nation, unlike other nations…