Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
(Click here for readings)
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world. When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM.”
Pruning and Uprooting. Lent is that time of year to do some heavy duty cleaning inside our spiritual home. It’s that time of year to fertilize our pride and vanity with some simplicity and humility, and to prune our hearts and minds from earthly (or dirt-y) attachments.
My life can grow wild, just like so many things surrounding it. And with so much craziness going on around me, inside of me, and below me, I can easily feel like my life is out of control and out of my hands.
Over the years, Lent has taken on a new meaning in my life. It has become a significant part of my maturing process. And whatever helps me to grow will always be a blessing to me.
Which brings me to my final point. The ultimate purpose of Lent is not to make me a better man but to remind me of who I belong to; to who owns me. I do not belong to Mother Nature or to humanity. I belong to Jesus Christ. I owe my life to Him and no one else.
Where do you belong? The Lord had a very frank conversation with his critics: “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.”
Do you ever feel like you don’t belong here? If so, then good job! Congratulations to you! You’re doing great this Lent!
Earth is not our home. It is our workplace. This is not where we belong. It is God’s EPOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow).
We can live like highly evolved animals or we can live like Christians. We can live for things that belong to this world or live for the things that belong to God.
This morning, I spoke to someone who works at a Catholic radio station. They were seeking my opinion on a question someone recently called in and asked. It was a great question. Very timely.
“Aren’t Catholics being a little hypocritical when they condemn the firing of Mozilla’s CEO but then demand that a Catholic University not invite any controversial speakers?”
Great question. But it’s like comparing stones to scones. There’s a huge difference between inviting someone and firing them.
I am not at all offended at Fr. Jim Jenkins or Notre Dame for not considering me as a guest speaker. I would be offended by them if they denounced me or attempted to publicly humiliate me, then I would have every good reason to feel hurt by them. In the case of Mozilla’s former CEO, his resignation is acknowledged by all as a firing and a coup d’entreprise. Okcupid assassinated him.
Also, there’s a huge difference in aim between a sectarian institution (i.e. Catholic or religious university) and a secular business. Hence, it’s perfectly reasonable for a sectarian university to invite individuals who share the same moral beliefs. It’s also perfectly legitimate for them to fire someone who no longer shares the same moral beliefs. When it comes to the business world, it would be entirely unreasonable and discriminatory for a company to fire someone because of their personal beliefs on marriage. It would also be entirely stupid to hire someone as CEO because of their personal beliefs on marriage. The firing of Mozilla’s CEO was hurtful, harmful and dangerous.
Personally, it’s extremely important that all Catholic and Christian universities invite guest speakers who will defend and promote Catholic or Christian teachings. Why? Because where else will people hear them? Let’s be real, folks. The entertainment industry (Hollywood, the music industry, sitcoms, soap operas, the radio, the news, the public schools and public squares), as well as the Internet, has done an amazing job at effectively shouting over, shouting down and shutting out anything Christian or Catholic.
And there is a reason for it. As the Gospel’s tell us, when Jesus finished speaking, “the crowds were amazed at his teaching” (Mt 7:28), and “because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.”
Amen. Amen. (0)
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