My calendar has been full lately. (Thus, the infrequency of blog postings.) I have been making a conscious effort to stay focused on the season in the midst of the hectic pace. However, determining whether or not I have been successful is a subjective evaluation. Some days would probably score better than some other days.
On Friday I led a simple gathering of a dozen folks in an hour of reflection. It was an amazing experience. I had contacted everyone in the group a few days prior to the gathering and asked each person to think of a "WOW" moment in their lives. We used those examples to move into a deeper look at how God works in our lives on a continual basis. There was no doubt that the power of the Holy Spirit was moving in our midst as we shared our thoughts, struggles, hurts, and joys. These intimate gatherings allow for a profound experience of the presence of God, and I am grateful for having been a part of this particular gathering.
On Friday evening I traveled to Casper, Wyoming to present a day-long retreat on Saturday and preach at all of the weekend Masses at St. Anthony's Parish. These opportunities to visit a parish community are always exciting. I enjoy meeting the people and appreciate the privilege of sharing the journey of faith with them. Although I am the one doing the presenting, I always walk away enriched in the process. It is a fantastic experience to learn of the many ways people have been touched by the love of God.
I was reminded by the beginning of Mark's Gospel this weekend to look at my faith journey with a sense of urgency. God is calling me to holiness today--not tomorrow, not next week, not next month--TODAY! Mark chose to start his Gospel with Jesus being in adulthood. He wasted no time with the infancy narrative or the early years. The difference in his approach as compared to the other Gospel writers really struck me this year. I don't know if that is the message he was intending to communicate by starting his Gospel in that manner, but it is the message I took home with me this weekend. It was something I need to ponder.
John the Baptist struck me in a somewhat different manner this time too. As I proclaimed the Gospel at mass I was overwhelmed at the humility of John. People were coming to him from all over the Judean countryside as well as Jerusalem to be baptized. He was popular. Some thought he was the messiah. He did not bask in this attention; he simply pointed people toward Christ and the coming of the Kingdom.
Are we pointing people to Christ in the way we speak and the way we act?