Sunday, March 1, 2015

Want to Be Purified During Lent? Listen to Jesus

It's Sunday.  

This morning I drove into the BU Catholic Center with a seminarian who is staying with me this week while he is on Spring Break.  He graduated from BU last year.  Our first event for the day was Men's Group.  The Men's Group that is run by a couple of students and under the direction of our intern Bobby meets on Sundays and Thursdays.  On Thursdays they hang out, eat burgers, play video games, and do fun stuff.  On Sunday mornings, after eating doughnuts, they have a short talk and then pray together.  Today, one of the students gave a talk based on something that Pope Benedict XVI had written on the Eucharist.  It was solid food.  After that, we all prayed the Rosary together.  It was impressive to glance around the chapel and see 16 young men praying the Rosary together.

After Men's Group, we headed over to the 12:30pm Mass.  Although God obviously is always doing something awesome at every Mass, sometimes that awesomeness is more palpable.  Today was one of those days. I just had this tremendous sense that God was touching us today, revealing his Glory, and helping us to follow Him.  Yeah, something was happening today.  There was just an outpouring of grace happening.  

The Gospel for today was the Transfiguration.  I mentioned at Mass how a few months ago, a young boy from my previous parish emailed me with a good theological question.  "If baptism washes away sin, why do we still sin after we're baptized?"  That's a pretty good question coming from a seven year old!  His question is a fitting one for today's readings.  Although the guilt of sin is washed away in the waters of baptism (and through Sacramental Confession), the wounds caused by sin still remain.  The wounds of sin hinder us from seeing and judging reality properly.  This is, in part, why we are attached to transient things and why we forget about God.  Our wounded intellects hinder us from judging things properly.  How do we heal the wound left in our intellects?  

Today's Gospel shows us and tells us.  The disciples were about to see some horrible things.  They would see Jesus humiliated, scourged, beaten, crucified, and killed.  He would appear to be a complete failure.  But, in the Transfiguration, his Divine Glory shines through his humanity.  Jesus is not just another good guy who ends up in a bad way.  He is God.  To help the apostles to see and judge Christ's suffering and death appropriately, Jesus reveals quite powerfully his divinity.  And, God the Father testifies, "This is MY Beloved Son.  Listen to Him."  How do we heal our intellectual blindness?  By the purifying light of Faith.  And how do we grow in Faith?  By listening to Christ.  Our wills and passions all need to be purified and healed.  But, today is a good day to focus on our need for intellectual healing.  The more we profess Christ's divinity, listen to him with humility, and judge our life according to his Word, the more our spiritual blindness is lifted and we see and know the world as God sees and knows the world.  We can grow each day in Faith and this growth in Faith heals the blindness of our hearts.  The more we grow in Faith, the more we come to recognize a very fundamental truth that spiritual blindness often hinders us from seeing: Jesus is God.  I am not God.  

After Mass, I returned to the Catholic Center and am now sitting in my office listening to a couple of dozen students meeting downstairs with our FOCUS Missionaries.  One of the students is giving a witness about how God is working in his life.  

At a university this size, I certainly wish that there were thousands more involved in our Catholic life together.  But, one thing is certainly true.  The grace and life contained in one mustard seed is more powerful than all of the evil in the entire world.  The fact that 16 guys show up to pray together on a Sunday morning is awesome.  The fact that students show up for Mass, desire to grow in holiness, seek the Sacrament of Confession, pray, and witness to one another . . . pure awesomeness.  Today, all of us climbed up the mountain with Jesus and He has revealed to us His Glory.  He has reminded us that He is God.  He has shown his divinity to me today by the outpouring of his grace into the humanity of these young people.  

I find it very moving that these young people have a desire to grow in they're discipleship.  They are hungering to learn how to pray, to deepen their Faith, to go out into the deep.  It's also a great blessing that the Church is responding to the desires of these young people by providing a Catholic Center and a Catholic liturgical life on campus.  

Thanks to all of those who support us through your generosity to our ministry and through your prayers.  God is doing something beautiful among the young people here.

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