Pastor's Note - June 9, 2013

In my third year in the Jesuits I remember feeling that living the vocation was impossible.  My first two years had felt relatively easy and so I was unprepared to confront this struggle.  At the same time, I was reading about St. Francis of Assisi and, though I don’t remember the details, St. Francis believed that the Christian vocation began only when we felt dependent on God and poor in ourselves.   What helped me was the realization that I couldn’t do it by myself. Turning towards God in my need was when, I think, I began to actually be a Christian.  Our faith is not made real through correct actions, a determined will, or a strict discipline.  Rather, it is the reception of God’s Grace, which is made more apparent through the acknowledgement of our dependency on God with the experience of our own poverty. 


In this week’s Gospel we see Jesus confronting the desperate sadness of a mother and widow with the death of her son.  Because of her situation she offers no pretence and no power.  When the Lord sees this “he had compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not weep.’”  And to her son’s lifeless body he says, “Young man, I say to you, rise!” 


In our own lives we may feel the pinch of inadequacy, incompetency, inability, in other words, our poverty.  When the ground beneath our feet does not feel solid we have two choices.  The first is to present an appearance of power.  We tell ourselves and others that there are no problems.  The second choice is to allow ourselves, others and God to see ourselves as we are.  We can fake it and pretend to be powerful and in control or we can be vulnerable and poor; we can sit in the darkness of the tomb or we can walk in the light of life. 


From the Gospel we know that God has compassion for us and we know that life can always be brought from death by Christ.  And so, let us take Christian steps – we know we can’t do it alone.  And, we know that the compassionate love of the Father is overflowing into our hearts.  We do not live in front of the façade of power.  Instead, we live within the reality of God’s love.


God Bless and Take Care,  

Fr. John

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