Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Kingdom is a Pearl, Treasure, Net full of things

We used to have a class in our high school entitled, "Introduction to Catholicism."  It was for freshmen and was two semesters in duration.  Some parents, and a few young people thought this a weird title, especially since they were already 'catholic,'  and many had gone through catholic grade school.  But the intention of the class was not so much to rehash the number of commandments and sacraments, but to build up in their lives that to be a catholic meant that their was a lifestyle to be lived. 

As a Parochial Vicar at a parish in a college town I received a phone call one afternoon from a young lady who wished to go to confession for the things she was planning to do that evening.  That's right.  Sort of a pre-confession so I suppose she could go to communion on Sunday.  That idea sort of defeats the whole idea of reconciliation.  Where is the conversion and discipleship?

Today's readings allude to the necessity of obtaining the wisdom, and nurturing that wisdom and understanding, in order to make good and holy choices.  The persons presented in the parables are in the extreme.  These folks make a great sacrifice in their very lives in order to obtain those things that are truly valuable and have great worth.  Possessing the Kingdom is about seeking, uncovering, and spending our entire being on the value we unearth.  And even more so, It is having the ability of being able to discern what is true, good, and beautiful, from the base and superficial.

This is where ongoing prayer and reflection come in.  I like to tell the story of an older professor of mine from seminary.  Before teaching he had had a Diocesan job.  When priests made not so good decisions it was his job to talk with them.  Time and again he told us seminarians, these priests had ceased praying, did not engage in spiritual reading, did not go on retreats, and their words and even actions did not model charity or chastity.  They had ceased living a priestly lifestyle.

Especially today we are challenged to live a Christ centered life.  Where do we those values, morals and ideals, which give meaning and purpose to our life.  Living in the ways of Christ certainly points to the ways in which we might possess Christ as our very own.  We seek Christ first by putting his words and love into the center of our lives, making him the focus of our faith.

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