Friday, November 23, 2012

Where is the line???

As I left my house this morning to get my car inspected and then head to Mass I was struck by the stark reality of how lost our country is, and in some ways how lost many Catholics in our country are, how we have so many things to help us find our way and yet when it comes to the most important things we seem directionless.  Traffic as I expected was crazy and people cut each other off trying to buy the biggest television or the newest iPad.  Now I am a technology guru and enjoy the latest, greatest toys when I can afford them (which right now being in Grad schools isn't often, donations are accepted however). 

All humor aside as I was almost struck by a car in the Walmart parking lot where I needed to go to get a taillight bulb for my car to get it to pass inspection, I was driven to reflect on just where are the lines in today's world.  What are we willing to wait in line for?  I saw many people willing to wait several hours to buy a TV or a computer but rarely do I see people willing to wait 10 minutes for the Sacrament of Penance.  When Sunday Mass goes longer than an hour, people complain and leave early after Holy Communion.  As Catholics we need to realize that at Mass we receive the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.  We should be willing to wait as long as it takes and then get down on our knees (if you are able) and say "Amen" with love and conviction.

It gives one pause in today's society as to what is valued.  People instead of giving thanks and enjoying time with family and friends went to go stand in line to get the best deal on the newest thing because stores opened at 8pm yesterday.  In this culture, in this environment Catholics need to get back to the basics.  Cardinal Dolan called for this at the meeting with all bishops when they met recently.  

So in this upcoming Advent season let us reflect on how much we as Catholics have to be thankful for and how much work there is to be done.  There is the tradition of an Advent fast as well as a Lenten fast in the Eastern Rite Churches, maybe its time we take their example and fast this advent as well for conversion of heart and mind.  We are all partners in the vineyard of the Lord and should act the part. However, for us to take the Gospel out to others it needs to first take root in our own hearts and I know for myself  I find myself sometimes lacking, none of us are perfect, but I know God's grace and the Holy Spirit will make up the difference.  The call is then to interior conversion and transformation, metanoia - radical transformation and adherence to Jesus Christ.  The General Directory for Catechesis puts it this way; "Faith involves a change of life, a "metanoia", that is a profound transformation of mind and heart; it causes the believer to live that conversion.  This transformation of life manifests itself at all levels of the Christian's existence: in his interior life of adoration and acceptance of the divine will, in his action, participation in the mission of the Church, in his married and family life; in his professional life; in fulfilling economic and social responsibilities." (55)(Emphasis mine).

So the question is then where is the line?  Is it at the store, at a restaurant, at the mall?  Where is the line to see Jesus?  In the New Testament people jumped at the chance - in the Gospel on Tuesday Zacchaeus runs ahead and climbs a tree just so he can see Jesus over the crowds and yet in many of our Churches pews are barely occupied the echo of emptiness rings of the stone walls.  Where is the line to see Jesus?  The call is being made, the Holy Spirit knocks on the door to your heart, Jesus seeks your answer.  Will you wait in line to see Jesus?
(I know its not Christmas yet but this song speaks great truth)


  1. Thank you for this amazing reflection. You put so succinctly the need for a 'metanoia' of our priorities this Advent season.

  2. I'm a first time visitor, so first let me say great job with your blog! (I love the clever title.)

    Second, I really enjoyed your post. It has inspired me to write in a similar vein on my blog. Would you mind if I used the beautiful video as well?

  3. Thank you and by all means you are welcome to use the video - its public content and on youtube just search for the title, it is a beautiful song. God Bless