"We gather in faith..."

Teaching and commentary from our pastor, Bishop Francis J. Christian

Reflections

How can we best define the word “spirituality”? One

definition might be “an inner set of values by which we

relate to an outer set of realities.” In this sense, everyone

has spirituality because everyone has a set of values by

which they live, whatever those values might be. Of

course, a person’s “values” might be self-centered or

strange, but they still are the reason that person makes the

choices he or she does. In their book, LIVING THE

WORD, Ralph Kuehner and Joseph Juknialis discuss

“fame junkies”. These are people addicted to fame or the

pursuit of fame. They mention a young man named Troy

who began auditioning for American Idol in 2002 in

Kansas City and continued to go from city to city for

eleven auditions over the next three years. He was

rejected each time but is still unwilling to give up. Troy

made the observation, “I don’t have the Justin Timberlake

or Christina Aguilera voice, but I do have the personality

that will charm America.” The authors conclude, “Either

he’s right, or he really can’t take a hint.” The point is that

each of us has a set of values that drives our lives, our

energies, our time and our resources. The risk lies in

whether or not those values will sustain us. The disciples

of Jesus try to live by the values rooted in God’s word as

the Lord teaches us in this weekend’s gospel. As Kuehner

and Juknialis note, none of us does it as well as we’d

hope, but we try to build our lives on that word. And the

reality is, they state, that after we’ve been trying for a

while we begin to realize that there is some wisdom in

that word, and some stability, and something that gives

meaning to what we are about. The word begins to live in

our heart, to find a home in our soul. Let us this week,

then, reflect on God’s call to us to be forgiving, to be

generous, to respect every other person as a son or

daughter of God.

When we strive to put these values into action, we will

find our lives richer and happier. We have God’s

guarantee of that!