IT IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIP
Chris Padgett gave our Parish Renewal last week. I am writing this column on Monday, and we have two nights to go. Last night, Sunday, Chris stirred my imagination with his theme and insights. We had a great turnout from parishioners old and young, and our students in Faith Formation, Confirmation Prep, and Youth Ministry. Chris targeted his message Sunday to
our Young Church. What he stirred up in me, I use in today’s title: It Is All About Relationship!!
It is all about our relationship with Jesus, with our good and gracious, our loving God. Do you, do you think of yourself as having a relationship with Jesus? I do not think, as Catholics, we have ever emphasized this enough. But, it IS all about relationship.
We stay with friends through thick and thin because of relationship...we stay in our covenanted relationships of marriage, and me in priesthood, because of relationships. We grow as human beings in the context of relationship. Our growth, our development, our becoming who we are meant to be, does not happen in the context of some secure chamber, cut off from all other contact. We grow in the midst of family, friends, colleagues young or old, school or working.
It is all about relationship.
Today’s scripture from Wisdom and Hebrews gives a look into that relationship. “I prayed and prudence was given to me...I preferred her to scepter and throne,” the Wisdom author writes. Prayer the foundation, the context in which our relationship develops. With my friends, I talk on the phone, see one another, exchange messages...sustain contact. With God, with Jesus, our contact is in prayer. In my life, I have to make room for prayer...not so easy...even living without spouse and
family. Making time is a challenge common to us all. We have to make time...it doesn’t need to be a lot...a few minutes each day. In time, we may become more hungry...want to make more time...ok...but to start...take a couple of minutes.
As I walk over to Church for Mass in the morning, I often find myself looking around and thanking God for the rising sun, the rain that is about to fall, whatever the day may bring or has brought. Starting a relationship with Jesus, like any other, begins with thinking of Him, sharing life with Him, feelings, thanks, needs, and of course, listening for whatever may come.
The Hebrews’ author writes: “Indeed (brothers and sisters) the word of God is living and effective... penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” Our relationship with Jesus is experienced in our prayer time, and fed by God’s own Word, Scripture. “The Word of the Lord” we hear proclaimed after every reading at Mass, God’s own Word. My relationship with Jesus is fed and inspired as I pray the daily and Sunday
scriptures each week, read and study the scripture. We provide resources for you in At Home with the Word (the new one for the coming year will be available soon). The Little Books that we give at Advent, Lent and Easter all offer reflections on scriptures used at Mass. I have a friend who, each day, prays a Psalm. There are 150 in the Book of Psalms, he prays all or part of one each day, starting over once getting to number 150. These were composed as prayers for the Israelite community and have been a source of prayer for the church for centuries. Feed your relationship with God in God’s own Word, the Psalms are a wonderful place to begin.
It is all about relationship with Jesus...bring children and family with you...let faith spring to life,
Have a good week love,