Saturday, January 18, 2014

Second Sunday Ordinary Time: Do I/We Really Care?

The reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Ordinary time will be presented in the Ignatian style … as you found last week’s reflection.  Several people contacted me and appreciated the traditional Jesuit practice of presenting talks with the three point practice as has been the Jesuit tradition.

The First Point.  Christians are called to become a light for the whole world.

— the frequent message of Pope Francis.
— not a new message:  Isaiah, in the first reading, shares his vision that the Jewish people were to become a light to the world.
— the reason for this challenge to us:  to let all the world know that God gave us his Son to bring about salvation for everyone.
— in New Testament times there was a similar voice calling the people with the same message:  John the Baptist
— his message again, the same.  The one who baptized Jesus, the same Jesus the people would see walking and talking with the people, dining out with some of the people, healing many, this man Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  His is a universal message.
—- does any of the above impact your life?  Does it impact the world in any way today?

2. The Second Point.  Is there reason to hope, to think, that God’s will can be accomplished in our world THROUGH our efforts even though we are but a small number of people in the world?  A series of questions follows:
—  are the Christians in our world interested in Jesus Christ or even the Gospels? 
—  are YOU genuinely interested in Jesus Christ or the Gospels?
—  How many Catholics have a bible in their homes that is regularly used?
—  Why is membership in all the main-line churches declining each year?
—  Is a genuine personal relationship with the Lamb of God of any value to you and your brothers and sisters of the Christian faith?
—  When Catholics say “I believe ….” each Sunday in the Profession of Faith, the Creed, does it mean anything or is it just another routine prayer said each Sunday?

3.  The Third Point.  What do the answers to these questions signify for you and me?

—  to be a true believer today, to believe beyond mere repetition of words that we can be like a torch that lights up the area around us, wherever we might be, giving true witness to Jesus Christ in the presence of others.
—  When others come upon us whether family members, friends or colleagues or even those who do not know us, do they think or say, :I am in the presence of someone , like John the Baptist, who has not difficulty in speaking aloud about Jesus Christ?  Do I give others my witness that Jesus is very important to me and how I live my life?
— Do others speak of me or you as a person who adopts the values of Jesus Christ in my or your life?
—  Without Jesus Christ do you have a faith to declare, a Lord to follow?
—  We must begin in our homes, with our families, to teach that the Lamb of God we profess whenever we attend a church service is truly someone of immense value to us?
—  We need to remember an old adage:  “Actions speak louder than words.”

—  Perhaps each week every genuine follower of Jesus should develop an examination of the days of the prior week with one question:  Have I tried to bring Jesus to the world?  How?  Did my life proclaim Jesus Christ is my Lord?

Please note:  Today, Saturday, I leave for my annual retreat
at the Trappist Monastery in Spencer, MA.  
Would you offer up a prayer or two for me during the week of this retreat?
I promise that I will do likewise for all you who read this blog.
It may happen that I do not get a reflection prepared for next Sunday.
I will not be returning to Lanham until Tuesday, the 28th.