“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed!” What might happen if a latter-day Jonah were to stroll down Flatbush Avenue shouting something like that about Brooklyn?
God is going to call you. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, God is going to call you. Of that, faith gives me confidence. As for how or when or through whom, though, I don’t know!
We begin our Scripture reflection this weekend with David feeling conscious of the fact that he was comfortably staying in a lavish house while the Ark of the Covenant, where the Lord dwells, was inside a humble tent.
The Gospel this weekend invites us to take a closer look into the per- son and mission of John the Baptist. Last week we heard about him in the Gospel of Mark but this week we go deeper into the question of who he is. “He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.” In other words, he will be the first to publicly witness that Jesus is the one they have been waiting for a long time. The Messiah.
We are encouraged this week to see things in a different way. It challenges us to empty ourselves like Jesus did so we might be able to empathize with the suffering of others. In doing so, we are able to connect and journey with them while giving us the opportunity to lift their gaze up to the one who can give us hope.
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of Christ the King. Prayerfully reading the Scriptures reveals God’s love for us, His willingness to not only be born for us but to die and rise from the dead for us, and to prepare for each of us a place in the kingdom. The goodness of Christ as King cannot be denied but it is also not the end of the meaning of this day.
On Mulberry Street in NoLita (North of Little Italy), is the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, the over two-hundred-year-old predecessor of the Fifth Avenue landmark. Beautiful in itself and rich in history, the building houses a magnificent Henry Erben Pipe Organ, has been in several movies and is home to one of the most interesting graveyards in Manhattan. Tours of the Basilica are available.
Last Monday we celebrated the Feast of All Souls. A day when we remember those we love who have gone before. Yet, that remembrance also invites us to think about the realities of death and resurrection. We know that the only guarantee after birth is death. Every time we say the Our Father, we pray, “Thy kingdom come.” We know that one day we will each face judgment. And so, the question this parable presents is, “Are we ready?” not “Will we be ready?”
On this Solemnity of All Saints, the church invites us not only to remember those who have already marched in but also to ask how we can one day be in their number.
This question about questions is ultimately pretty simple — do we ask questions, engage in discourse and discussion on social media and in-person with our friends (and with our enemies) for the sake of clarity, for the sake of learning the opinions of others and why they might hold these opinions, or do we do it to trip the other up, to hammer home our point, to verbally “beat down” those who might disagree with us?