This weekend we have the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. It is one of those healing sacraments and reminds all of us how we are in need of God’s healing. Next weekend (Nov. 3rd & 4th) we have our memorial mass. It is a time we remember those who have gone before us. Anyone who has lost a loved one this past year is invited to receive a candle and name the loved one who has died. We mourn those who have died, but we remember that because of Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection death is not the end. We share in his victory over death.
In this Year of Faith we have been challenged to pray every day as a family. I want to remind you that during this year we begin Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament early on the first Friday of the month. On Friday, Nov. 2nd, our daily chapel will be opened by 7:00 a.m. for those who would like to come and pray before the Blessed Sacrament. Mass is at 8:00 and Adoration continues until Noon.
Fr. Roger Karban gives an interesting explanation of today’s Gospel in Celebration. Following is one part of his reflection. It is commenting on Bartimaeus’ request to be able to see.
Consider the message of Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons’ 2010 book The Invisible Gorilla. The two psychologists conducted an
experiment. (It can be found on YouTube). People are instructed to count the number of passes a team makes during a basketball game. While they’re counting, a girl in a gorilla outfit suddenly appears, weaving her way among the players, at times even standing in front of them. When the playing stops, the participants are asked two questions: How many passes did the team make? And did you see the gorilla? Though almost everyone nailed the number of passes, very few noticed the gorilla!
Their research helps us understand what Jesus of Nazareth was all about.
As we know from the synoptic Gospels, his historical ministry revolved around a conviction that God’s kingdom is close at hand, right before our eyes. God is working effectively in our everyday lives. Yet most people never seem to notice. They presume God is securely ensconced in heaven, not active here on earth. That’s why Jesus demands repentance of those who receive his good news. They must go through a metanoia, a complete change of their value system, a 180-degree change in how they look at everyone and everything around them.
A Christian’s life revolves around seeing, especially seeing what other people don’t notice.
How have you seen God’s kingdom this past week? When are you blind to that kingdom?