The fall is my favorite time of year. It’s not just the change in the weather, the back to school excitement, or even the start of football. It’s the feeling that things are going to get accomplished.
I wanted to share with you the following from Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium. (I:2-3)
A joy new, a joy which is shared
2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.
3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.” The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms.
I appreciate the message the Holy Father is communicating. The document goes on to say much more. I can get caught up in my own interest to the point where I’m less than benevolent. This is the way I try to remind my self that the professional athletes train daily. If I want to be a better Christian, I need to train every day. During these workouts I know I’m going to want to quit or look away from the harsh glare of reality—due to lack of courage or just ignorance—because of not wanting to look deeper.
I have hope that I can do better. I’m going to look at it as a new session. I ask you to call me out on any action you see me do that isn’t following the simple request to open myself to encounter Jesus Christ.
I would like to invite anyone reading this message to make a commitment to The Basilica. We all have gifts. Please share your gifts. If you need a personal invitation from a member of the Parish Council, call me. I just ask you to leave a message at my cell 612.834.4041. I will call you back. Special thanks those of you to that follow Matthew 6:1.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
You folks are amazing. God Bless!