Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What Moves You?

Dear Friends,

What are you passionate about? What energizes you?  Moves you to action? Work? Success? Sports? Family? Kids? Travel? The news of the day?

 Does God have anything to do with this absorbing lifestyle? This question leaves us uneasy .Our day-to-day experience seems to be “Here is God” on the one hand,  and on the other hand “Here is my life.” Do they connect. Should they connect? How can they connect?

We live on many levels: emotional, intellectual, artistic, down-to- earth. But for us as Christians, these elements of life are interwoven with a spiritual reality. That reality emerges from our life in Christ. It begins with the baptism that permeates, highlights and colors our whole being, if we let it. All the things and people we cherish, all we are passionate about in life is rooted in our relationship with God. God is our undeniable, indispensable partner of our lives. We don’t bring God into our work, play, study as an add- on. God is in our DNA – God is in the fabric of our being, in every move we make, in every thought we have, in every  word  we speak. When we come to that profound realization, we live life with passion as Jesus did.

We see his passion displayed in a public way in the Gospel for the Third Sunday of Lent (B cycle).  Jesus went up to the temple where he found an age old practice of scamming the poor played out again. On high holy days, people would purchase an animal to be offered as sacrifice. There were two locations where animals could be purchased: one was outside the temple precincts, where the prices were moderate and which the poor could afford, the second location was inside the temple gates. Once inside, the poor who had purchased their offerings outside were told these were unacceptable, They would have to purchase another animal inside. Are you surprised that the proceeds from the inside sales were shared between the vendors and the temple officials? Likewise, the moneychangers were involved and got their cut.

This is what made Jesus furious. The poor were being mistreated, taken advantage of. Watching Jesus, his disciples recalled the words from Psalm 69.10: “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
Jesus was passionate about his Father’s house, about honesty and integrity  and the poor.

Again, what are we passionate about? What consumes us? As we move deeper into Lent, mulling over Jesus’ zeal and our own passions can give us new insight into our own intertwined Christian and personal  lives and help us to want to fire up with others our world’s possibilities for the good and the holy. 

Sister Joan Sobala

PS. I'll be in Auburn, NY this Saturday, March 14 at Saint Alphonsus Church for a special presentation beginning with Mass at 4pm and a Lenten supper.  We'll talk about how the "God of Surprises Calls Us."