Aren't there moments when our education serves us very well? Likewise aren't there moments when our education fails to remind us that we do not know everything? The picture above is from the screen of my computer. It is the English version of the Vatican website and its many sections. It is just one source of realizing how much there is to learn about our Church and our faith. Many other websites offer the opportunity to learn more and more each day about who I am as a Roman Catholic and, in particular, a priest.
Today's readings for the Eucharistic Liturgy serve us a wonderful reminder that we do not know all things of our faith or our religion. We are treated to a discussion between Jesus and his students, the disciples. Seemingly this group of disciples have come from a moment when clarity has shone through examples, probably the parables, that were not as well understood as the disciples would like or needed.
At last, they must have felt, the message is coming through to them. They have had to seek out from Jesus what it was that he wanted them to know and to carry forward in their lives and roles as his disciples. The apostles, as well, encountered moments when they realized the need for further teaching to "students" they believed had captured the message of Jesus. Apparently many had learned much from the teachings of John the Baptist. That body of teaching, however, did not seem to include the full teachings of Jesus. So, the apostles and other disciples had to teach what has been called a "baptism in Christ Jesus."
During my presence in Raleigh last week, I spoke with a number of Southern Baptists. I was amazed at how many responded to some of my questions with "Only a few years ago was I truly saved. Only a few years ago did I experience the baptism in Christ Jesus. He is now truly my Lord and Savior." What was so evident was how much the "conversion" brought these wonderful people to feel the genuine need to know more and more about Jesus Christ. What they learned as children was only a partial fulfillment of coming to know their faith and the Lord Jesus. More amazing were the number of elderly people who commented how helpful their computers --yes, their computers-- had become in learning so much more about their faith and their relationship to Jesus Christ.
And so, where are we Roman Catholics today in our learning our faith, our religion, our Church? The avenues to knowing our faith in today's world are so multiple and varied. You don't know her and she most likely will always remain behind the veil in more ways than her vocation as a consecrated religious, but, but, but ... we owe many words of thanks to a Sister Judith who has had so much to do with bringing the Catholic Church and the Holy See to the world through her skills with the computer. Thank you Sister Judith and may you continue to be a source of learning and, ultimately prayer in our lives. Also google "Vatican's Sister Judith" to gather a number of publications about the "geeky Sister," as she has been dubbed by a number of authors.