SUNDAY 19 July 2015, 16th Sunday, Year B
•Jeremiah 23:1-6 • Psalm 23 •Ephesians 2:13-18 • Mark 6:30-34
[__01__] It’s good news to be found, to be discovered.
In the Hollywood entertainment industry, and the world of technology, we sometimes hear the old saying, “There is no such thing as BAD publicity.”
It’s good news to be found, to be discovered.
[__02__] In the 2010 move about the invention and development of FACEBOOK – a movie titled The Social Network – we see the the young Harvard University freshman Mark Zuckerberg and a few classmates struggling – at least at first – to publicize their product, to be noticed, to be found.
Now of course, the infrastructure of technology, cameras, wireless signals, credit card readers, and cell phone towers makes it easier and easier for us to be found, and harder to be concealed …and, perhaps, just to go on vacation or to be away for the weekend …or take a “snow day”.
Remember when a “snow day” meant that we would be rather isolated, out of touch.
So … Is it good news to be found?
Sometimes, we would object, and respond in the negative. We would rather not be discovered.
[__03__] Is there not also something good and virtuous and holy in this concealment, this disconnection?
Isn’t it the calling of parents and families to create boundaries, a healthy distance for children and young people?
Certainly, it is not easy, but is certainly worthwhile for families to find times where we can be disconnected, in a sense truly wireless and without a wireless network either.
[__04__] And, isn’t this what our Lord and Savior is trying for, for a short while to create for his FAMILY, for his HOUSE of disciples.
They go away to a deserted place, to travel, to pray for a while. Apparently, they had only a little time to themselves, before the crowd of people would re-appear.
[__05__] Thomas Merton writes that such a time away with God and a time of solitude enables us to discover how we can give ourselves to others.
And, isn’t it true that when we are in the midst of a physical crowd in the midst of great spiritual tension, we are not very inclined to give ourselves away.
Certainly, when I am in the congestion of the Parkway or Turnpide, the traffic conditions may wear you and me down. But we encounter traffic and busyness offroad as well.
[__06__] Thus, Jesus invites us away to a deserted place.
But, in this deserted place, we can also come to know ourselves as part of the Body of Christ, and also as part of our own Church and community.
[__07__] Isn’t this the objective and grace of our sacraments and sacramental encounters with God – of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist – to initiate us and make us faithful not only in solitude but also to give us the grace of initiation to go out and love and serve God and neighbor.
[__08__] Isn’t this the objective and grace of the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation ? For a while, we go in secret, to speak to God through the priest, privately and so that we we might be reconciled with him. Also, in private, we learn that God’s mercy is greater than any of our sins.
[__09__] Isn’t this the objective and grace of the Sacrament of Matrimony to bring husband and wife together … so that they can form a new family, one that is a model of God’s permanence, God’s faithfuluness, and God’s openness to life at all stages
[__10__] In all of these sacramental encounters, we discover our needs for quiet, prayer, meditation, not so that we can achieve anything material or even reach any particular geographic destination.
But, rather, simply, by God, that we might be found, that we might be discovered.