Thursday, April 3, 2014

4th Thursday of Lent

Time is moving fast.  Very fast.  Ash Wednesday seems as if it were yesterday.  The calendar suggests it wasn't.  

A Jesuit novice arrived in the community yesterday morning for five weeks of "experiment" (SJ s have a unique meaning attached to the word experiment).  Nice guy.  I will be his immediate contact here.  With a 22 year-old in the community our average age has dropped to 80.  Spring may have come east with him.  We have finally had two gloriously sunny days that suggest, no they scream, IT IS SPRING!!!!!!!
4th  Thursday of Lent
3 April 2014
Ex 32:7-14
Ps 106:19-23
Jn 5:31-47

In his commentary on this Gospel, Jesuit Father Stanley Marrow wrote that Jesus has no other purpose except to carry out the will of the One who sent him.  The revelation of Jesus is not found in studies of His psychology. Nor is not found in His goodness, meekness, gentleness, wisdom, or any of the qualities we look for as we try to find what some call the Historical Jesus.  The revelation of Jesus is found in the perfection of his obedience to the Father.  Jesus is wholly at the service of the Father, even to the point of dying on the cross.  Jesus words and his example of fidelity to the Father’s will stand in stark contrast to our own inability to obey God's will in any more than fleeting fashion—on a good day.

The Israelites in the desert are us, and we are them, becoming depraved and worshipping a molten calf—though in the modern U.S. we are more prone to worshipping the golden retriever.  We are prone to making an idol of money, or power, or the newest hot thing in the world of spirituality as in  “I’m spiritual but not religious.”

As a people who place the highest premium on autonomy and who worship self-determination, obedience to the will of God is not a valued commodity.  It is only through Moses’ reminder of the covenant God struck with His people that the Israelites were saved from destruction. “They forgot the God who had saved them, who had done great deeds in Egypt, wondrous deeds in the land of Ham, terrible things at the Red Sea”

And so it is with us. We forget. Perhaps we don’t even really believe that God has done great and wondrous deeds for us.  The Gospel of Dives and Lazarus ends with the warning: “Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’“

In today’s Gospel Jesus says to the Israelites as he says to us: “. . .if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

In whom do we believe? 
There is only one correct answer. 
 Haven't had any time to get out with the camera.  I spent all of last week at a review of internal medicine course in Lancaster, PA to prepare to reactivate my MA medical license.  Time to go back to work.  The weather was grim.  No reason to take the camera out of the bag.  Drove to Penn State at the end of the conference only to find more of the same weather.  Some how I managed to drive back con Sunday in a narrow "envelope" of tolerable weather with only mist but no rain.  That changed a few hours after I got back to Campion.  Now it is time to catch up with reality. 

Below are photos of two common objects that have undergone such dramatic transformation since I was young that they are no longer recognizable in their modern incarnations.  The typewriter and the non-digital (i.e. film) camera. 

The typewriter first.  I learned to type on the offspring of this one.  It was huge.  We sat on stools above the keyboard.  Never bent the wrists.  They were amazing machines.  Tremendous key action and feel.  The best typewriter I ever used was the IBM Selectric that used a typing ball.  It wasn't the ball so much as the feel of the keyboard.  It was a great.  

The typewriter photos were from the small museum at the Sevenhill Winery.  Computers are great but I miss the aerobic aspect of typing on those old beasts. 

The cameras were in the antique store between Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay.  We've come a real long way. 

+Fr. Jack, SJ, MD

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