Monday, October 30, 2006

"Master, I want to see." / Letting go...

Reflection on Sunday's gospel reading:

I spent some time thinking about how my life relates to the story of Bartimae'us. The first thing that jumped out at me was when Bartimae'us said, "Master, I want to see." I thought about the boldness of this request. Never having sight, Bartimae'us had to have a bit of fear as to what it would be like... to see for the first time, physically and spiritually. For me, asking God to open my eyes to truth does have a small element of fear. What should I expect? What will God ask of me?

Despite that fear, this journey has led me to be bolder in my request for God to allow me to "see". I don't want to be half-blind to the truth but I want to understand all the fullness of God's truth...

Secondly, Bartimae'us was rebuked by those around him as they told him to be quiet. But Bartimae'us persisted. He believed that Jesus could heal him and did not give up calling out to Jesus. For me, this was a picture of what I'm going through with the friends and family who do not understand the journey I'm on. They are telling me how wrong I am from all sides... but I know that if I persist in following Jesus despite their rebuke, Jesus will be faithful to me. I cannot let those around me keep me from calling out to the Lord.

* * * * *

A while ago I posted that it was going to be difficult for me to transfer from Protestant services to Mass... that I was really going to miss what I had always known. I remember several times, especially before I informed my family, trying to let go... and saying goodbye. I thought the transition might take a long time...

It took a shorter amount of time than I thought it would. I went to my Protestant church for the last time this Sunday. I actually had only gone once in the last several weeks and as I browsed their website last week, I stumbled across a video of one of their services... I began to watch it and realize that I could no longer sit through another service. The biggest reason? I can now hear the subtle digs at the Catholic faith (or rather what they THINK is the Catholic faith). I feel that sitting through these services do not benefit my growth in faith any longer.

This week, the music pastor, made a comment. It went something like this:

"We're having a Harvest Party this week to take the place of trick-or-treating. Please bring family, friends and neighbors. Everyone is welcome. What often happens is that new people will come into the church... they expect to see an organ in the corner... Instead they see drums and think, 'Hmm... looks pretty cool... I might have to come back and check this church thing out!'"

How sad it made me to think coming to church wasn't "cool" without a set of drums... that churches without rock music and a coffee cart were somehow "less than"... Even sadder was that I used to think the same way. They've turned church into a cool "hang-out"... that isn't worthy of our attention otherwise. Sad.

I love the music in my former church... but to take that music and make it a reason to come to church, is wrong. We're there to worship, with drums or without, with an organ or without. I believe too many churches have replaced an altar for a stage...

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