From the Desk of Father Davis
Let not the cacophony of distractions in life sweep us away! The message of this weekendís Scripture readings is clear and direction-filled. Be wise; eat and drink of Godís wisdom. Turn away from foolishness and ignorance; embrace the truth of the Spirit. Eat and drink at the banquet of Our Lordís Body and Blood; and live!
For true disciples of Jesus, itís hard to believe that any other exhortation would hold more sway over us than this! The Words of Christ reveal the heart of Godís plan for us: that we might be filled with spiritual wisdom; and that we might feed on the true food of life. In short, Godís plan for us is that we would be holy; and that we might truly find life, and live! Yes; we are asked to live with meaning. Live the way we were created to live. Live our holy vocations with clear intentionality. Live with Heaven in mind. Not be swept away by the latest of this or the latest of that. Indeed, with all the competing modern draws on our attention, with all the options of entertainment, with all the sights and sounds of contemporary culture, and in the midst of a competitive atmosphere to achieve power, possessions, popularity, pleasure, and prestige at all costs, we must carefully prioritize and deliberately choose to come to the table of the Lord. The world fools us into believing the heresy of our day: that we are self-sufficient and that we do not need God, even if he exists. Indeed, due to the cacophony of distractions in our day, we may miss the ultimate meaning of life and forfeit the profound purpose for which we were created.
During my recent vacation period, I had the opportunity to go to Mass at a variety of Catholic churches throughout North America. While relaxing, I often like to sit in cognito in the assembly, to pray and be fed, even to watch, listen, and learn. While, indeed, I saw that the Church was physically present in these places, and I surely noticed numerous devout people, I also couldnít help but notice poor attendance, few young people, fledgling music programs, poor stewardship, and worst of all, a lackluster reverence for the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. In three of my four stops along my journey, things were quite casual, lacking in solemnity, even bohemian! It made me long to be home at our parish, where, I believe, we do things very, very well. Yet, even WE must never rest on our laurels. We, too, if we lose our focus, the priority of our faith, the specialness of our spiritual treasures, and the joy of being Godís people, we could become distracted, routinized, casual, uncommitted and maybe even irreverent. Without intention and care, the secular things we regularly listen to, the images we watch, and the steady diet of philosophies and values found in our modern culture can actually come to shape our pattern of life. If we are not careful, our thoughts, attitudes, choices and way of life may suddenly reflect the world in which we live, rather than our certain belief that this life is connected to the next. Our legacy will be one of earthly plaques and trophies, rather than souls on fire for the God of eternity.
Salvation comes through hearing the efficacious Word of God and saturating ourselves with its truth. Salvation likewise comes from communing with Christ, receiving his Body and Blood, receiving the divine blood-transfusion (life-transformation) that comes from the Eucharist. Our lives desperately need what the world cannot provide. We need the holistic care of the total human personality. We need to feed our bodies, minds and souls with nourishing spiritual food. We need to consume it with intention, pushing the delete button on that which does not help us to be focused, to be better, and to be holy on our journey to eternity. We need to again be wise, and eat and drink from the banquet of life.
So often, the food we eat becomes us. Yet, when we receive Eucharist, we become Jesus. Itís counter-cultural. Itís meant to make us holy. And itís the surest way to break the cacophony of noise that sweeps us away from God. Be wise, therefore; feast on Him; and live!