4th Sunday in Ordinary Time January 28, 2018

Fr. Tim’s Corner

In the Reader Comments section of America magazine, I read the following:

 “Despite 12 years of Catholic education and innumerable homilies…There was plenty about social justice, to be sure, and that is fine, but that is not quite the same thing as connecting my own vision (necessarily myopic and limited), of how things should be with God’s vision (the really big picture).

Catholic education, when it clicks, does just that: it connects my vision with God’s way of seeing.  When that does not happen, then my way of seeing remains myopic; limited; incomplete.   I fail “to see the forest for the trees”.

Catholic education ought to connect my life with that “Infinite horizon” that Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner spoke about.   Connecting our lives to God completes us and gives life ultimate meaning.  Too often, our vision is disconnected from God in ways that render us blind to the sacredness of human life and the plight of immigrants, for instance; the logical madness of nuclear threats and degradation of the environment, our “common home”.

Catholic education, when it works, gives us the faith to see in ways that connect the dots; to see woven within all that is a seamless whole.  I call this the “sacramental approach” to life; a way of seeing that is profoundly Catholic.  Visible creation hints at a hidden reality; the ‘something more’ to life.

Whether Catholic or not, believer or atheist, the need to connect lives inside the bones of us all and is part of who we are. Perhaps this explains the phenomenon seen happening in our own time with the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.  We, all of us, “hunger for connection”; something I read about in an article years ago.  We began existence beneath a beating heart, floating within embryonic fluid and attached to our mother.  By the Incarnation of Jesus we see how God, too, hungers for connection; who desires to be known by us and within a world mortally wounded by the alienating nature of sin.

So, Catholic education at its best makes that connection necessary and real to our students, opening their eyes to the “bigger picture”; the way God sees.  The vision of such faith is salvific in that it delivers us from those ‘bell jar’ distortions separating us from the mystery of one another; from God in whom “we live and move and have our being”.

I applaud our parish school as they embark on this celebration of Catholic Schools Week.  I stand impressed and deeply thankful to our Principal, Vince McGovern, and to the amazing staff and volunteers surrounding him and serving us well.  The atmosphere of faith and gospel vision we try to instill in our students, side by side with parents, inspires me.  Those kids making their way through our halls, together with the laughter I hear, encourage me in more ways than they will ever realize: bringing a smile to my sometimes tired face; time and time again and as they let their light shine!

My blessing and best wishes,

Father Tim Clark


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