Monday, August 22, 2011

Is Anyone Paying Attenton?

Listening to the second reading yesterday, (Romans 11:33-36 ), reminded me of a post I wrote last August on understanding that God does things His Way  and in His Time.

Not My Will, But Yours Be Done, Part 2.

It also touched on the fear and apprehension we seem to have discussing our faith outside the walls of our parish and in the "real world" just as the Apostles were afraid to leave the upper room before Pentecost. In Sunday's Gospel (Mt 16:13-20), we see Simon's bold profession of faith that Jesus is "the Christ." Jesus then names him "Peter"- the "Rock on which he will build His Church." Yet this same "rock" ran away  at the first sign of danger, denied Him three times, and hid behind a locked door.

 In his homily at the Closing Mass for World Youth Day, the Holy Father encouraged the pilgrims to no be afraid and to draw strength from our friendship with Jesus and from each other.

Dear young friends, as the Successor of Peter, let me urge you to strengthen this faith which has been handed down to us from the time of the Apostles. Make Christ, the Son of God, the centre of your life. But let me also remind you that following Jesus in faith means walking at his side in the communion of the Church. We cannot follow Jesus on our own. Anyone who would be tempted to do so “on his own”, or to approach the life of faith with kind of individualism so prevalent today, will risk never truly encountering Jesus, or will end up following a counterfeit Jesus.

Having faith means drawing support from the faith of your brothers and sisters, even as your own faith serves as a support for the faith of others. I ask you, dear friends, to love the Church which brought you to birth in the faith, which helped you to grow in the knowledge of Christ and which led you to discover the beauty of his love. Growing in friendship with Christ necessarily means recognizing the importance of joyful participation in the life of your parishes, communities and movements, as well as the celebration of Sunday Mass, frequent reception of the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the cultivation of personal prayer and meditation on God’s word.Friendship with Jesus will also lead you to bear witness to the faith wherever you are, even when it meets with rejection or indifference. We cannot encounter Christ and not want to make him known to others. So do not keep Christ to yourselves! Share with others the joy of your faith. The world needs the witness of your faith, it surely needs God. I think that the presence here of so many young people, coming from all over the world, is a wonderful proof of the fruitfulness of Christ’s command to the Church: “Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15).

Pope Benedict's homily can be found here: WYD Homily. I encourage you to read it, and if you have (or were blessed enough to hear it in person), to read it again. Here's praying that we all are paying attention to the words of the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on Earth.

Be blessed!

1 comment:

  1. I love your title "Is Anyone Paying Attention?"--brings to mind that may be the root to so many things that can cause trouble, stress or anxiety in our lives. Are we paying attention? I'm sure many of us can answer we are paying attention, but to what? Are we paying attention to our job, the balance in our checking account, to the laundry list of to-do's for the day? Or are we paying attention to the person in need in our neighborhood, to our children's unsaid needs of love (instead of "stuff"), to the causes that really could use our attention (maybe Pro Life, maybe a local soup kitchen, etc.). Are we paying attention to our relationship with God? I think we all fall into the pattern of paying attention to lots of things, many of which don't matter nearly as much as we make them out to be. We're not focusing on our relationship with God who is calling to us, each and every day, and so we're probably missing out on so many other "invitations" to bring others to Him as well. A great reminder for all those little moments in our day where our attention does need to be brought back to God.