Exponential Awareness and Concern
Former Chicago Bulls basketball coach Phil Jackson wrote a book entitled Sacred Hoops. In it he comments, “It is better to be aware than it is to be smart.” If you know anything about Jackson, you know that he is very philosophical and finds a heightened sense of awareness for himself through Zen Buddhism. Jackson is a very reflective man.
I believe that this is a time that calls for heightened awareness, what I call an exponential amount of awareness of how our behavior might not simply affect those we encounter, even at a six-foot distance, but all those who encounter those we encounter during this Covid challenge. We still don’t know everything about this virus, so let us all be more aware of what we do and who might be affected by it.
Christ the King
The overriding image of the kingliness of Christ in the scriptures this weekend is that of shepherd. As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King and bring to a close this church year, consider the attributes and actions proclaimed in the readings that guide us.
From Ezekiel, we hear that as a shepherd the Lord tends his flock and that he will look after us. This shepherd/Lord/King seems to have special compassion for the scattered sheep and the ones who need to be rescued. He seeks out, brings back and binds up. This shepherd heals, and there is much that we need healing for these days, and so let us turn to this shepherd/king in prayer for it.
Our Psalm is number 23, perhaps one of the most recognizable pieces of scripture, simply states, “The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.” The Lord leads us to rest, guides us, anoints us. These are communal statements for us all, but the psalm ends, and, in fact, in its entirety is written in the first person, “I shall dwell in house of the Lord forever.”
The Gospel passage from Matthew paints the picture of Christ as a glorious king sitting on a throne in judgement, separating sheep from goats according to their responses to others in need. The two groups share a blindness to Christ’s presence in those least in social stature but most in need. “When did we see you with such needs?” they ask.
I believe that a significant amount of human nature leads us to our failures to both recognize Christ in and comfort those in need. Perhaps the image of the shepherd King can help us to recognize when we did reach out to those in need and truly recognized Him in even the least in our midst. As you reflect, I bet you will be surprised at how much good you did. If not, it is never too late because the shepherd king is seeking you out, binding you up, rescuing, and most importantly, healing you.
Once again, thank you to all who responded to the recent survey seeking your feedback about your intentions to worship with us live on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. We are still crafting a schedule based on our observations of changing worship habits and protocols from the State and Archdiocese that may change at any time.
Remember, you must register for Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Please pass the word to others that this must be done in order for us to provide the many volunteers needed to host Masses safely. Accessing our website enables you to register for all masses, to get the most updated information and tap into some really good spiritual resources. Pass the word to go to our website!!
It is hard to believe that we have begun planning for our 2021 Gala already. I want to thank our chair couples, Chad and Roshny Archer and Cobey and Erich Struckmeyer.
This promises to be a truly unique, virtual Gala with some portions pre-recorded and some live, and you will begin hearing promotion for the event being held on Saturday, February 27.
This year’s theme is “Live From Hoy Family, It’s Saturday Night!” Please be attentive to details as they become available. The evening will be more kid friendly and inclusive and less expensive than previous years. Get ready to incorporate your favorite Saturday Night Live routines and spread the word farther and wider than in previous years to increase participation by your family and friends. The virtual nature of the Gala will enable us to do so this year. Thanks in advance for your participation and support.