I say again, Rejoice!

“[The Spirit] will glorify me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is Mine; for this reason I told you that He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you.”

I am so thankful you have chosen to worship with us this Sunday as we reflect on the mystery of God.

This is one of those fun days in the life of the Church where the congregation sits back and watches the pastor as he tries to explain the unexplainable, as he invents poor analogies and repeats fanciful stories thinking they might cover his inability to really get at the core of Who God is. It is like watching a slapstick comedy, people tripping over shoelaces and tumbling about in an effort to get from one side of the stage to the other.

Besides the tumbling about, we must wonder why so many try. All of you, the members of Christ’s body, the Church, dwellers in the Kingdom, are not even looking for an explanation. You keep it simple. We adore one God in three Persons. You own this mystery. You view this mystery practically – not in its academic analysis, but in what it really is. I’ll talk about that in a moment.

First, I want us to imagine that moment we get to heaven. We’ll be standing there at the gates. We might come to the gates with an agenda – what is God like, where’s mom and dad, my best friend, those I love? Oh yes, that one thing I could never figure out… Then God will reveal Himself to us in all His majesty, His presence, as He is, and we will finally get it. Our questions and wondering will be gone. It will be so simple that a child could figure it out. It will be so beautiful we will feel its overwhelming power.

So, what is God really, what is this great but quite simple mystery? God is the totality of mutually communal love. God created us in the world to share in that communion of love.

This means that we, created in the image of God, are made to fulfill communal love in relationship one to another and to God and all His creation.

St. John captures Jesus’ intimate communion with His Father and how we would be brought into that communion, how we would share in that same relationship, through the Holy Spirit. “[The Spirit] will glorify me, because He will take from what is Mine and declare it to you. Since Jesus dwells in the totality of mutually communal love – the Spirt Who Himself dwells there takes from that and gives it to us.

That is why the Holy Spirit dwells with us, to constantly call us into the joy of mutually communal love with God and each other – just what it means to dwell in the kingdom.

So let us not reflect so much on mystery but rather rejoice and rejoice again living filled, fulfilled, and sharing in the love of God. It is that simple.

Mystery & Challenge

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Trinity Sunday, and every pastor is suddenly digging into the Church Fathers, the great theological treatises, and some good old-fashioned bad analogies so they can explain the mystery of God to their congregations. I even witnessed a brother in the clergy ask an entire group: ‘How are you going to approach this Sunday?’

I am thankful, not because I have the answers, but exactly because I do not, nor do I have to try. There is no theology, no treatise I can share that adequately captures the mystery of God: Father, Son, and Spirit. What I can share is the word I will now repeat for the third time: Mystery.

People love to solve mysteries and expend a whole lot of energy trying to do exactly that. They engage in an effort to unlock the secret of God’s self-revelation as Father, Son, and Spirit, and in doing so focus on the wrong mystery. We must ask then, what mystery does God wants us to focus on?

Indeed, God has called us to do something far different. He challenges us to focus on a different mystery, one easily solvable. His challenge is far different than a scientific study of an unfathomable mystery. God calls us to spend our time on the mystery and challenge of love.

I told the brother who asked: Skip the bad analogies and focus on the attributes of God.

You see, people get to know one another through the attributes they see in the other. He or she is good, caring, spends time, is cautious, is deep, likes to share. We get to know people that way. So, it is with God. How do we know His mystery? It is through His attributes and the attribute of the Trinity that has been and is ever before us is the attribute of love.

The mystery of love is God’s challenge to us. When He said: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you He was not speaking of any other rule, any other thing than love. Teach, show, and welcome in love.

See how God has revealed His love: In creation – particularly that of humanity, saving His people, rescuing them, and finally sending His Son and punishing Him for our sakes, sending the Holy Spirit to be with us. Even though we may ignore His call, He remains with us. He tells us, we have the Son’s inheritance even though we would otherwise be unworthy. All because of God’s attribute of conquering love.

Love’s mystery is the call to give fully for the other. How can we do that? The answer is that we, as God’s children, can do it exactly because God loved us first in Jesus. God showed us all His love. Now we understand the mystery and set out to live the challenge of love.

Be anxious for nothing

Philippians 4:6

St. Paul is writing to the Philippians. He starts in Chapter 4:6-7 by saying, Be anxious for nothing. Now we might say, good advice Paul, thanks, but you do not understand. After all, we have disease, civil unrest, the problem of generational prejudice, murder bees, plus a stadium sized asteroid making a close pass at earth. How can I not be anxious? Paul is not writing in a vacuum. Paul’s command, Be anxious for nothing is not an option. All of our undue cares intrude into an arena that belongs to God alone. Having undue care knocks God out of His Father role and makes us father instead of child. Let God be Father. Paul goes on to tell us to pray to God, to ask, for there are no areas of our lives that are of no concern to God. Pray with confidence, thanksgiving, and receive peace.

June and warmer weather. The world continues to change – and some of that change has long been required. Read our Commitment to Dignity.

June also brings thoughts of our heavenly, spiritual, and earthly fathers. We are called to action. Our newsletter contains information on various summer events being held virtually including PolishFest, our Men’s Spiritual Retreat, and Kurs. As of now we plan to reopen on July 19th with one Holy Mass and with certain required conditions. We will do so responsibly and with great care and only if the situation continues to improve! We look forward with hope and continue to be the faithful church at home and together.

Read about all it in our June 2020 Newsletter.

He’s
hungry!

since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God.

I read a very interesting article recently. It concerned the hungry Jesus. Sounds like the name of a great cooking show!

Jesus spent much time at meals. He did this in three ways.

At most meals, Jesus was the guest. He was invited by many. As an iterant Rabbi He relied on the hospitality and generosity of others. These meals were encounters with the hurt, broken, and lost. They were an opportunity to learn important truths. They were an opportunity wherein Jesus offered healing through His call to faith and conversion – change of life, rejection of sin.

The article points out that Jesus was rarely the host, and when He did host actual meals in time, excepting the feeding of the multitudes, He only fed those who were closest to Him.

The third type of meal Jesus offered was visions of the eschatological meal. This was the meal in the kingdom after the end of time, His return. Again, we return to a limited meal – open only to the prepared, the faithful, the wise who could enter the banquet.

In these three types of meals we see representations of Jesus’ hunger. 

Jesus’ hunger starts with His call to conversion, to invite all into the kingdom meal. He is hungry for each person’s participation in the kingdom life. But there are requirements to get in! Jesus had to teach those – and so He showed us the way. He told us that all are welcome to commit, to change, to become participants.

If we do as He asks, if we truly live as He models, we get to take part in the meal offered here this very Sunday – the Eucharistic banquet. Eucharist means thanksgiving and we should be very thankful for inclusion in this meal with Jesus. We also have the promise of the kingdom meal, full participation in heaven life.

Certainly, scripture shows us that Jesus was most hungry for unity of life with the Father and Spirit and our participation in that reality, that meal where love is perfected. We have gained access. Hungry?