Three Churches / One Parish

Bulletin Letter – 1-21-18

Dear Parishioners,                                                                                                                                  +JMJ

I want to put out one last call for our lost St. Cecilia statue at our Paulding campus. For decades there was a statue of St. Cecilia in the choir loft, donated by a former choir director. When we started renovations of the choir loft, the statue was put out in the Narthex, in the top shelf of the coat rack, right next to the Narthex entry. The statue disappeared. We did not notice that it was missing, until we wanted to return it to the choir loft. If anybody know of its whereabouts, please contact the office. There is no way really to replace this statue, since it was given by a former choir director. A new statue might look nice, but it wouldn’t be connected in the same way to that choir director. If anybody knows anything, please let us know. Thanks!

Here’s one simple exercise to help you meditate on the gospel of the day from Mass. Meditating with Scripture is such an important way to grow in our knowledge of God and life with Him. You can take any gospel passage and focus on one of the persons you see in the reading. Based on everything you see in the context of that passage, and everything you know about the Faith in general, try to answer the following questions: What does this person know? What does this person desire? What is this person able to do? (This is something that I ran into in the French school of biblical theology. You focus on the verbs savoir, vouloir, pouvoir. Even if you don’t know French, you can see that these words rhyme, so that helps you remember the three verbs: to know, to desire/want, to be able.)

Once you answer these three questions about a particular person in the passage, then you consider your own life in light of what you’ve discovered in this person. And you talk to God about all of this.

Take the following lines from our gospel this weekend is an example: “As Jesus passed by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea; they were fishermen. Jesus said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Mark 1:16-17). What does Jesus know? What does he want? What is he able to do?

Well, he knows that John has been arrested. The last lines in the gospel just revealed this. Furthermore, he knows that John’s arrest signals the fulfillment of time. John is the last figure of the Old Testament, properly speaking.  Jesus knows there’s a special manifestation of the kingdom that now has to happen. Again, the last line just revealed this: “The kingdom of God is at hand.” Jesus must know that his Heavenly Father wants mere mortals to be involved in this kingdom, i.e. to be instruments of this kingdom, which explains his beginning to call these first disciples. Jesus must also know something of the future for these disciples, because he tells them they will become fishers of men. Jesus must know something of their spiritual readiness for this call, since he directs the call to these specific men.  Jesus knows how to put the call out there in the right way and at the right time, so as to achieve the greatest effectiveness for each one of them. These disciples get up, follow him, and leave everything.  Perfect placement of the call! Jesus knows how to disciple people, such that they can become disciple-makers for others.

Look at how much comes to mind just by asking about the first verb, “to know”! I don’t really have room in one bulletin letter even go on to the other two verbs, “to want” and “to be able”. On your own, you can consider the other two verbs. But, after considering just what seems to be apparent of Jesus’ knowledge, there’s so much you can talk with him about: “Jesus, I acknowledge that you know the changing of eras, the fulfillment of times. What great trust I can put in you!” “Jesus, I see that you are key for bringing about the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven.” “Jesus, keep calling me in your perfect way more deeply into the Heavenly Father’s plan for my life.” “Jesus, what a privilege it is for us mere mortals, with all our imperfections, to be called into personal discipleship and ministry with you!”

So, you see how each observation about Jesus’ knowledge from the Gospel passage can lead to a discussion regarding our relationship with him. Often, we can then use the observations to review our own spiritual state. Do I really trust Jesus to guide the changing of seasons in my life? Do I expect the manifestation of God’s kingdom around me, because of my relationship with Jesus? Am I open enough to Jesus’ constant call in my life to enter more deeply into God’s plan, His service, to become more effective for Him? Do I appreciate fully enough the privilege of being his disciple? Then you talk with God about what you see in your own life, in light of all of this.

Look how much can be gleaned from one passage, considering only the verb “to know”! Continue with “to desire” and “to be able” as they apply to Jesus in this one passage. Then work your way through the whole Gospel passage for Sunday. Then you could do the same for each other person who shows up in the passage.

Have a blessed week!

In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,

Fr. Poggemeyer

 

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