WHAT ARE YOu LOOKING FOR ?? This great question was the first thing Jesus said in our Gospel last Sunday, the first words he speaks in John’s Gospel. It stops us in our tracks. I know it did that to one man whom I singled out to ask this at the 7:30 Mass. The wisdom is that one way or another, our lives are answering that question. What we do with our time, our energy, our funds, and our prayer, reveals what our goals are, even if we’re not aware of it. The invitation of Jesus is to be very intentional about what we seek: Him. So when the
disciples asked him where he lives, he said to them—and to us—Come and See. As we enter a new season of liturgical life, that leads us soon to Lent and Easter, may we do that: spend our lives following Jesus to see where and how he lives.
This Sunday one way we can do that is to participate in Word of God Sunday, as declared by Pope Francis on the 3rd Sunday of the Year. In the past two centuries our Church has made up a lot of ground from being known for disregard for the Scriptures, in favor of doctrines and authority. We now have a number of world-class Scripture scholars, who also collaborate with scholars of other denominations and faiths to explore the deep meanings of the texts.
There are no messages or instructions we get from bishops or the Pope that aren’t based on the Scriptures and quote them extensively. So we’ll celebrate this simply at Mass by blessings the Bibles of those who have brought them. Then you can take a sheet from the stands to do an Enthronement of the Bible in your home. Hopefully it will have a prominent, visible place, and it will not gather any dust because you will reach for it so often for encouragement and enlightenment.
Following from that, we’ll have our second gathering on Evangelization next Wednesday at 7:00 P.M. We did this in November, and I hope we’ll still have a little momentum. Take a look at Living as Missionary Disciples by the U.S. Bishops, and The Joy of the Gospel by Pope Francis. Next week I’ll highlight one section from each of these, and I want to just take a survey of any sections you particularly liked.
I finish writing and sending this just after Wednesday’s Presidential Inauguration. Fortunately, there were no jarring disruptions. But the scene was missing the usual throngs of people, due to the threats of violence. My wish for our nation, in order to “form a more perfect union” (U.S. Constitution), is a composite of the last three Sunday Gospels—that our leaders and each of us will do our work well so it leads us to the Lord (Epiphany); that we own being be- loved by God and act like it (Baptism of the Lord); and that we sum up our fragmented wishes and hopes into searching for the Lord and following him (2nd Sunday of the Year last week). Though I received some criticism here for recently speaking against physical violence toward other people, I repeat that call in my prayer now: I pray that charity, respect and love will underpin the words and actions of all people in cooperation to create a more just and safe society where people feel provided for, heard, and empowered.
Fr. Tom Wyrsch