Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Press On:" Bill Gates, Calvin Coolidge, and Bartimaeus

Readings for October 28, 2012, 30th Sunday in Ordinary time 2012:

30th Sunday in Ordinary time 2012

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas
October 28, 2012

I would like to share with you today three separate topics. The first one from a document received from Rome by Benedict the 16th's reflection on the year of faith. The second topic is from Francis Cardinal George referring to October as the month of the most holy Rosary and also a little about the apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima. Third will be a brief reflection on the blind man Bartimaeus from the Gospel of today.

The holy father on his Wednesdays general audience, he continues his catechesis on the year of faith, this is what he says, "Dear brothers and sisters, in our series of Catholic catechesis for the year of faith we now consider the nature of faith more than simply knowledge about God, faith is a living encounter with Him. Through faith we come to know and love God, who reveals Himself in the Life, Death and Resurrection of Christ, and in so doing reveals the deepest meaning and truth of our human existence.

Faith offers us sure hope and direction amid the spiritual confusion of our times. Before all else, faith is a divine gift which enables us to open our hearts and minds to God's word and, through baptism, to share in his divine life within the community of the Church. Yet faith is also a profoundly human act, engaging our intelligence and our freedom. When we welcome God's invitation and gift, our lives and the world around us, are transformed. May this year of faith help us to live our faith fully, and to invite others to hear about faith in God's word, opening their hearts to the Eternal life which faith promises.

Part two: October is the month of the most holy Rosary, a devotion associated in modern times with apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima in 1917, which she always requests in these private revelations that echo the public revelation in the gospel: "repent, the kingdom of God is at hand."

From that time when untold millions came to a violent death through war and atrocities to violent even to contemplate has taken place to the present day. However Mary did promise that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. This promise, too, echoes the gospel itself: the risen Christ is victorious even over sin and death. There is a question to be contemplated, and that is, why have entire civilizations seem to have been faded out of history?, and who will be next? Remember the words of Mother Teresa, any nation that kills and destroys the unborn cannot continue to stand as a nation!

Consider too the present political campaign that has brought to the surface of our public life the anti-religious sentiment, much of it explicit the anti-Catholic, that has been growing in this country for several decades, the secularization of our culture is a much larger issue then political causes or the outcome of the current electoral campaign, important though that is.

Some of you will recall it is from this sentiment that Cardinal George made this statement: "I am correctly quoted as saying that I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square." What is omitted from the report is a final phrase I added about the Bishop who follows the possible last martyred Bishop: "his successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church is done so often in human history." He goes on to say, what I said is not "prophetic" but away to force people to think outside of the usual categories that limit and sometimes poison both private and public discourse." The heading for this article is simply, "The Wrong Side of History" I will leave now, this second part, to your reflection and meditation.

Bill Gates failed in his first business. But he learned from the experience and started of another business, which he called Microsoft. Persistence pays off.

Pres. Calvin Coolidge once said, "nothing in the world can take the place of persistence, talent will not, genius will not, education will not, persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."

Long before Bill Gates and Calvin Coolidge, Bartimaeus was putting persistence into practice. He wanted to have his vision restored, and nothing was going to stop him. He first had to get in front of the crowd's lining the street. He found his way to the front, and sat on the side of the road to await the coming of the one who could heal him. When he heard the crowd coming, he began to call out to Jesus, when people tried to silence him Bartimaeus called out the louder, "Son of David have pity on me." What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asks. The blind man replies, Mater I want to see! The response of the master is simply, go your way your faith has saved you!

I'm sure that all of us at one time or another can relate to the blind Bartimaeus, for blindness is not only in the eye but with our relationship to our God and to one another. This simple little story of the blind man can cause all of us to reflect on any area of blindness that we know exists in each of our natures and likewise can holler and call, Lord Jesus son of David have mercy on me!

'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

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