Week of January 18, 2015

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What are you looking for?

Jesus turns and sees two people following him and he asks the question above. It’s an important question in anyone’s life. Everything we do reveals our answer to it. Andrew and his companion begin to respond by calling Jesus “Rabbi” (teacher), allowing that one word to signal their desire to learn from him. Then they ask a profoundly theological question: “Where are you staying?” It was impossible for Jesus to respond to that question with an address or geography. At that moment, the answer they needed was “Come and see.” Only after they spent three years with him Jesus could
answer more fully. At the Last Supper, reminding them that following him is a matter of the heart and soul as much as the feet, ears and eyes, he said, “Abide in my love…just I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15:9-10). If you want to know where Jesus abides, he abides in love.

As we begin the season of Ordinary Time, these readings invite us to refocus, to take stock of what we most desire and how we are going after it. The vocation to “come and see,” to abide in Christ, belongs to all of us, each in our own particular way.

I was reflecting on this call to abide in Christ’s love when I read a reflection put together by Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest who directs a Center for Action and Contemplation. His reflection is adapted from Immortal Diamond: the Search for Our True Self.

The first principle of great spiritual teachers is rather constant: only Love can be entrusted with Wisdom. All other attitudes will murder and mangle and manipulate truth for their own ego purposes. Humans must first find the unified field of love and then start from that point. This is the challenging insight of mature religion.

The second principle is that truth is on some level always beautiful – and healing – to those who honestly want truth. Big truth cannot be angry, antagonistic, or forced on anyone, or it will inherently distort the
message.

Recently someone asked me what I thought of the assassinations that happened a few weeks ago in France. When someone kills in the name of God (whatever name they give God), I think they have distorted the message. The Gospel invites us to come and see where Christ stays. We won’t find him in hate, in selfishness, or oppression. Christ stays in love and he invites us to stay in love, too.

Keith Hoffman, who was ordained a deacon last June, was assigned to serve at Our Lady of the Presentation Parish. Since he had been a member of our parish I asked him to come back and serve as deacon at our masses one weekend. Next weekend he will join us and preach at the masses.

I hope to see many of you at our Trivia Night next Saturday, January 24th.

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