Message from Father William Bartoul
My dear Brother Knights,
It occurs to me that sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. (“Oh, how did I miss that?”) And, at time, the obvious is so obvious that we look past it. (Oh, I’m sure someone will fix that.) I think that it’s an error of many Christians…the reason behind some of our poor judgments and questionable actions.
The pragmatic society in which we live often clouds our vision and misinforms us. How often do Christians think that “welfare recipients could work if they really wanted to.” How often do Christians step away from handicapped or imprisoned persons because we believe that “special interest groups will care for those poor people.” And, how often do Christians cling to possessions they don’t even use…convincing themselves that “someday” it’ll be needed. Perhaps there’s someone today who could use it. The obvious may not be so obvious.
When we label and assign things to others, we relieve ourselves of our personal involvement; we distance ourselves from those in need. I’ve heard people comment on how their taxes will take care of the needy. Taxes cannot replace our outstretched Christian love for those around us. How often do we miss our chances to love more perfectly? Could it be that those opportunities are too obvious (Oh, they’ll be there tomorrow.) and so we look past them?
Jesus was faced with a similar situation: a society that had laws to govern almost any need that arose in their community. The result: a society riddled with rules and regulations that helped some of the poor while entrapping most of the average people. People became more concerned with being “lawful” than with being charitable. That’s a dramatic shift from what God created; humans created in His own image…God is love. How did they miss it? Was it not obvious?
A Christian should not be content in allowing others to usurp the chance of caring for those in need. Our faith demands action in giving of ourselves to the least of our brothers and sisters. It is a grace and a blessing to grow in holiness and it is people who challenge us to grow. Lent is a special time to see the obvious and not overlook that which is too obvious. Lent is a call to clear vision and charitable action. Lent is a time to grow in holiness and prepare for the great Alleluia! Remember, sometimes the obvious is not so obvious. Use your remaining days wisely.
Peace, my friends,