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?