Random Thoughts….

Another Sunday morning completed, and a bright sunny afternoon ahead. There is so much ahead, if I let myself go there in my mind. A wake in a couple of days, a communion service, a business trip, a busy week in the office seeing patients, family get-togethers this coming weekend and the next, and preparing a day- long workshop for the diaconal community of the Diocese of Winona, the lawn out back wants a trimming, and so on.

Any time I begin to think in this way, what also comes to mind is the two Greek concepts of time, chronos and kairos. I often get caught up in chronos which is to say caught up in accomplishing one thing after another. St. Paul would probably say I get caught up in the world. Those kairos moments (when time as we typically know it seems to suspend itself) are rare comodities. It is kind of amazing to me, really. I was reading something recently about diaconal spirituality – the source I have forgotten – which talked of the importance of contemplation in diaconal ministry. Kind of difficult to do when you have so many things to do. That gifted and acquired ability to see beyond the chronos and into the kairos no doubt is vital for a deacon, as it is for anyone dedicated to God. It just that those gifted times are taken from us by the demands of daily life. Maybe a few prayers to Blessed Mother Teresa would help, or maybe St. Stephen, deacon and protomartyr of the Church.

Today’s Gospel talks about the inevitability of division in the Christian life. These are difficult words for many of us to hear. We tend to bend our ear to a different message of peace and tranquility. But God doesn’t hide much, if anything from us really. He is informing us in this Gospel passage from Luke that to be his follower will result in some people distancing themselves from us because our lives will become a challenge to them, if we are living out the Gospel message. In a couple of weeks, we will hear in the Gospel that if we don’t hate our families, even our own lives, we cannot be disciples of the Lord. Hate that word hate, I do. Don’t like using it, yet the Scriptures used it. I looked it up in the original Greek, and yes, the Greek word means hate. I do suspect Jesus, being a Semite and a Jew of his era, used the word as his people did back then, i.e., for emphasis and accent rather than a literal command. The idea being, of course, that we must make a free and radical decision to follow him, and our choice must be consciously given after discernment and consideration. Anyone who has ever done this finds out they end up giving everything back to God…. they become poor and free to follow. Did not the Apostles all do this when Jesus called them? Did not Cardinal Jose Bergoglio do this recently when he was elected Pope Francis?

Amazing stuff, this Christian living. Wonderful, actually. Splendid in so many ways.

God bless each of you abundantly!

Deacon Bob

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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