Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com’s Mark Kurowski reflects on how God respects your right to say no to him.  What does that mean for those who stayed with Christ in the Gospel reading for the Gospel of John?  Listen to this podcast of his reflection for the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time. Please read John 6:56-69. #GreatCatholicPreaching #Catholic #BenU1887

{mp3}B 52 2012 21 Ord{/mp3}

For Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 8/26/2012The 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Please pause this audio and read John 6:56-69.
The following reflection was given to the returning students at Benedictine University for the fall semester 2012 in Saint Benedict Chapel, Sunday, August 26, 2012.
    Thank you for coming to Mass today.  Last year, when I was giving the announcements of our Benedictine Community after a daily Mass, I thanked everyone for showing up on such a rainy day.  People chuckled at me.  One of them took me aside and said, “This is your former Protestantism showing.  We come because we feel like we have to come.”   I didn’t say anything at the time, but there is a truth about God that applies to us as college students and human beings in this whole dynamic that plays itself out in the Gospel lesson for this 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.
    Out of his great love for us, God doesn’t make us do anything.  Out of his great respect for the ability he gave us to have our own will and intellect, God doesn’t make us do anything.   In fact, if you study Greek grammar, the voice of verbs is often arranged in the order of the certainty of the action.  So, the active voice is first, the passive voice is second, and then the voice that is farthest removed from the concrete certainty of action is the imperative, or command voice.  God may command us to keep the Sabbath day, but as you can see he does not dominate our will.
    In the passage from the Gospel of St. John, we see that Jesus has come and is God and man.  We know this, but his hearers don’t know this.  He then tells the people who know him as the Carpenter’s son that he is the bread of life and they must eat his flesh.  The reactions are predictable and swift.  In last week’s Gospel it is the people who are not his disciples who reject him.  
This week, when he says that people must eat his flesh, which I have to admit does have a certain gross quality to it if I didn’t know he meant the Eucharist, this week his own disciples are split in two.  Only those who say, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You alone have the words of life,” stay with him.  Only those who have a deeper relationship with Christ remain.
    From those who remain, Christ has gone on to create a faith that is the largest in the world, with nearly 33% of the world believing in him.  He has gone on to create hospitals, religious orders, relief services, missionaries who take his message and his body and blood to billions, and saints who have gone to the death because to whom should have they gone besides him? It is no mistake that you are sitting in a University Chapel in an institution that was created by Catholics to investigate all that God has made in the world around us.
That brings us to you.  You have come today.  You are here to receive the Bread of Life.  You are here and it has to mean that amongst the students of this campus, you have a relationship with Christ that you are not ashamed to show.  Those with whom Christ has a relationship, he calls to do great things.  Is he calling you to read your Bible more?  Is he calling you to set aside time and pray every day?  Is he calling you to join one of the Catholic ministries and help the Catholic Community on our Campus grow?  Is he calling you to sign up for a service trip?  Is he calling you to volunteer on a regular basis at one of the service agencies in DuPage County?  Is he calling you to go to the Abbey on a tour?  Or, is he calling you to something more dedicated, like the priesthood, to a life as a monk or sister, or to the life of a deacon, to the single life, or to marriage?  Is he calling  you to feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison or is he just calling you to smile more often, be more forgiving, what is it that Jesus Christ is calling you to do?  
Whatever it is, it is going to be empowered by the incredible life giving encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist tonight.  As he enters your body to renew your soul and your body, ask him, “Lord, to whom shall I go?  What is it that you want me to do?” Then listen for an answer in stillness of prayer.  Then do not deny him like so many have denied him in years gone by.  Take up the privilege of the calling of God and do it.  After Mass, we will be meeting in the Fireside Lounge to have ice cream.  When you go, there will be people who would like to invite you to sign up for ministries.  Now is the perfect time to answer the calling to which you have been called by God.  Amen?  Amen.
This audio is under the copyright of MySpiritualAdvisor.com and may not be used, reduplicated, or distributed for commercial use without the express written consent of MySpiritualAdvisor.com, LLC.  MySpiritualAdvisor.com, 2012.

For Benedictine University and MySpiritualAdvisor.com, this is Mark Kurowski with a reflection for Sunday, 8/26/2012The 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time.

 

Please pause this audio and read John 6:56-69.

The following reflection was given to the returning students at Benedictine University for the fall semester 2012 in Saint Benedict Chapel, Sunday, August 26, 2012.

          Thank you for coming to Mass today.  Last year, when I was giving the announcements of our Benedictine Community after a daily Mass, I thanked everyone for showing up on such a rainy day.  People chuckled at me.  One of them took me aside and said, “This is your former Protestantism showing.  We come because we feel like we have to come.”   I didn’t say anything at the time, but there is a truth about God that applies to us as college students and human beings in this whole dynamic that plays itself out in the Gospel lesson for this 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time.

          Out of his great love for us, God doesn’t make us do anything.  Out of his great respect for the ability he gave us to have our own will and intellect, God doesn’t make us do anything.   In fact, if you study Greek grammar, the voice of verbs is often arranged in the order of the certainty of the action.  So, the active voice is first, the passive voice is second, and then the voice that is farthest removed from the concrete certainty of action is the imperative, or command voice.  God may command us to keep the Sabbath day, but as you can see he does not dominate our will.

          In the passage from the Gospel of St. John, we see that Jesus has come and is God and man.  We know this, but his hearers don’t know this.  He then tells the people who know him as the Carpenter’s son that he is the bread of life and they must eat his flesh.  The reactions are predictable and swift.  In last week’s Gospel it is the people who are not his disciples who reject him. 

This week, when he says that people must eat his flesh, which I have to admit does have a certain gross quality to it if I didn’t know he meant the Eucharist, this week his own disciples are split in two.  Only those who say, “Lord, to whom shall we go?  You alone have the words of life,” stay with him.  Only those who have a deeper relationship with Christ remain.

          From those who remain, Christ has gone on to create a faith that is the largest in the world, with nearly 33% of the world believing in him.  He has gone on to create hospitals, religious orders, relief services, missionaries who take his message and his body and blood to billions, and saints who have gone to the death because to whom should have they gone besides him? It is no mistake that you are sitting in a University Chapel in an institution that was created by Catholics to investigate all that God has made in the world around us.

That brings us to you.  You have come today.  You are here to receive the Bread of Life.  You are here and it has to mean that amongst the students of this campus, you have a relationship with Christ that you are not ashamed to show.  Those with whom Christ has a relationship, he calls to do great things.  Is he calling you to read your Bible more?  Is he calling you to set aside time and pray every day?  Is he calling you to join one of the Catholic ministries and help the Catholic Community on our Campus grow?  Is he calling you to sign up for a service trip?  Is he calling you to volunteer on a regular basis at one of the service agencies in DuPage County?  Is he calling you to go to the Abbey on a tour?  Or, is he calling you to something more dedicated, like the priesthood, to a life as a monk or sister, or to the life of a deacon, to the single life, or to marriage?  Is he calling  you to feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison or is he just calling you to smile more often, be more forgiving, what is it that Jesus Christ is calling you to do? 

Whatever it is, it is going to be empowered by the incredible life giving encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist tonight.  As he enters your body to renew your soul and your body, ask him, “Lord, to whom shall I go?  What is it that you want me to do?” Then listen for an answer in stillness of prayer.  Then do not deny him like so many have denied him in years gone by.  Take up the privilege of the calling of God and do it.  After Mass, we will be meeting in the Fireside Lounge to have ice cream.  When you go, there will be people who would like to invite you to sign up for ministries.  Now is the perfect time to answer the calling to which you have been called by God.  Amen?  Amen.

This audio is under the copyright of MySpiritualAdvisor.com and may not be used, reduplicated, or distributed for commercial use without the express written consent of MySpiritualAdvisor.com, LLC.  MySpiritualAdvisor.com, 2012.