31 August 2012

Hello, my name is __________, and I'm a hypocrite.

Recently, there have been numerous events and issues in our Country that have demanded that we pay attention.  Whether Chik-fil-a or political candidates, the fact of the matter is that more and more we are being pulled every which way by a constant barrage of media.  I believe that in this frenzy of talking heads and "analysts," we are forgetting a very important and crucial aspect of who we are.  Instead of placing all our trust in one talking head or another, we are enjoined this weekend to trust in what God is doing in our midst.  More and more, the call of Moses, as we hear it this Sunday, is a call to the basics.  In reality, the call that Moses places upon the Israelites, is a call to remember whence they came from, and who they are.  It is a call for each and every one of us to remember where we have each come from and who we are.  Not in the false light that this or that corporation places onto us as they try to figure out how best to take our money, but the light that is revealed to us in Christ.  A light that cannot and will not be conquered, and a light that calls us every moment of every day to come home.  This light, which is Christ, invites us to turn from the daily deluge of noise which can so easily distract us from that which really matters, that which really brings us life, CHRIST!  After all, the Pharisaical dilemma is not that they have too much power, or wealth, instead, their problem is that in their power and wealth, they have allowed those things to overwhelm their sense of who God truly is, so much so that when God is standing before them, they merely devise a plan to question Him in order to trap and condemn Him.  Today, we are called upon to look beyond those things that are meaningless, and to focus on what really matters, God with us, Emmanuel.  When we start doing that, we will then begin to not only live a life that is less cluttered and more God-filled, but we will truly start living, and those talking heads, they will become nothing more than a passing noise, empty and gone.  Be at peace and know that I love you.   Pray for me as I do for you.  

Fr. Rick

07 August 2012

Rock the Desert, good music, fun times, a little Catholic bashing too.

This past weekend, many people of different ages gathered at Rock the Desert.  From our parish, there was a large group that attended the event, even set up tents.  In the midst of all the good music and fun, I was perplexed to hear that on Saturday evening, one of the speakers started to bash Catholics and Catholicism, reminding everyone of our need to be saved.   I was bothered to hear this, not only because as a priest I have dedicated my life to Christ and often interact with pastors and ministers of other denominations, but also because in a time when society facilitates the creation of “us” and “them” attitudes, a festival such as RTD, should be an event in which people come together in understanding and united in their beliefs, diverse as they may be.  Instead, through ignorant and false rhetoric, people such as this speaker are given authority and permission to continue to perpetuate misinformed ideas about “those” people.  Ideas that can often lead to such tragic events as what we most recently saw in Milwaukee, at the Sikh Temple, or ideas that can create further division and ignorance.  Instead of continuing to create a divisive atmosphere that can lead to xenophobia, maybe we should begin to reach out to our neighbor in an earnest attempt to understand who they are and what they are all about.  This means that tolerance is not an option, nor is distance, rather, it is about reaching beyond the things that make us different, and uniting to share with my neighbor as a fellow human being.  More and more, it has to be about bridging the gaps that may divide us, and taking the time to discover that “they” are just as human as I or we.  And so it is that in reaching out, beyond the Catholic, the Christian the this or that, we not only come to be a better people, but perhaps, it can be said that we become more human and better children of God.