Don’t Lose Sight: Interior Contact with God
When I was a seminarian in Poland, one of my priest professors told me a story about when he was in Mexico giving a retreat and a man came to him and said “Father, my mother is dying. Can you come and meet with her?” He agreed. When the priest arrived at the house, he went inside and found the old woman lying on her bed, grasping her rosary. Upon seeing the priest, the woman smiled but was perplexed because she did not know him. As he took a seat beside her bed, the priest conversed with the woman and noticed she kept talking about the rosary she was holding. She explained how the rosary was blessed by Padre Pio and was very special. Concerned about her strong attachment to the rosary, the priest asked the woman, “But what about your soul? Are you ready to meet with Jesus? Are you ready to see Him face to face?” The woman did not respond. Instead, she continued to grasp her rosary.
Filled with holy zeal, the priest took the rosary from the woman’s hands, and said, “What are you doing?! This rosary is not a charm! This object will not save you! You need to start thinking about your spiritual life—about your soul!” The woman began to cry and, realizing she put her trust in the object and not in God, she asked the priest to hear her confession.
After telling this story, our professor asked the seminarians, “Do you remember what Jesus said in St. Mark’s Gospel? ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.’” The Holy Gospel teaches us that the Jewish people had a lot of laws, rules, and regulations about how to keep in contact with God, and that they focused so much on these rules that they lost sight of God. They were focused on doing exterior things, which in and of themselves were not God. Jesus, however, reminds us that most important thing is an interior contact with God in our hearts. The exterior precepts are important insofar as they exist as the means by which we enter into interior contact with God. When we discover the proper relationship between interior contact with God and the exterior rules and regulations that are meant to foster this contact, then we will experience peace, joy and happiness in our hearts. We will discover how the letter of the law is meant to lead us to discover the spirit of the law. In everything we do, Jesus is present in our hearts and desires to have a personal relationship with us.
Readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Lectionary 125
And on another very exciting note…
I am happy to announce that Ms. Danielle Pitzer has joined our staff and will serve our parish community in the new role of Director of Lifelong Faith Formation. It is my hope and prayer that Danielle’s extensive experience and many talents will enrich our parish community by drawing those who participate in Our Lady of the Wayside’s faith formation programs into a deeper relationship with Christ and the Church and a more fervent love of the Sacraments. For information about this year’s Religious Education Program which starts next month, click HERE.
Yours in Christ,