Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

(Galatians 1:13-24; Luke 10:38-42)

Bishop Ken Untener believed that homilies should be short. In workshops around the country he told priests that the Catholic Church is so rich in reminders of the faith that the people do not need long sermons. Rather, he advised, preachers should take from the gospel the truest truth that they can ascertain and tell that to the people. St. Paul seems to do precisely this in the first reading today.

What’s important to Paul is not his life as a Jew or his acquaintance with the apostles. No, he insists that the critical event of his life, which gives meaning to everything that he is and does, is his encounter with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He does not elaborate on the nature of the meeting, but he does indicate that it made him an apostle with the special mission of preaching the gospel to foreign nations or, as it is translated in the reading, “the Gentiles” – that is most of us.

Protestants often talk about coming to know the Lord Jesus, which leaves many Catholics wondering what they mean. Blessed John Paul II, however, encouraged us to develop a relationship with Christ. We encounter Christ in one another, especially in the poor who trust themselves implicitly to the Lord’s care. We meet him also in listening to the Gospel and even more profoundly in the reception of Holy Communion. It is the summation of these events contemplated over years that most of us have a sense of relationship with the Lord. Like for Paul then, he becomes the whole point of our existence.