Pastor's Message

We’ve all passed so many tests. We’ve all failed to pass so many tests. So many tests that test results mark us; individually and as a group. Every athletic contest is a test; THEY won, THEY lost. We are the champions. We are just another losing team. Each test result you received you might have thought: I’m a winner, I’m a loser. I’m with the slow learners, I’m in the honor’s program. Psst: There’s only one test that’s really going to matter: “Who do you say Jesus is?” Can you identify him in a crowd? Can you identify him in every person? Passing any test is a gift. The gift of your talents. Passing the Jesus test is certainly a gift.


It’s the gift in participating in God’s life. I learned a lesson YEARS ago that I have never forgotten. You did too: “the greatest gift God has ever given us is that He has let us in on the secret of who he is and what he is all about.” This great insight comes to us as a pure gift; we never had to ask for it. We can do nor never did anything to receive it.


Sometimes Jesus is the one you’ve been looking for and you find him at once. Then you befriend him immediately. The two of you go from anonymity to friendship lickety-split. You are converted to his ways at once. Your roots are deep and your flower beautiful. His friendship is a feast of Word and Sacrament. Your life is changed. Sweet mystery of life! You are happy ever-after.


Other-times you just aren’t so sure. You are just praying as you do, walking along the shoreline sort of minding your own business but scoping the population near and far. There he is, you think it’s him, he’s wearing a pretty good disguise. He’s a curious fellow. You’ve got to know him. He tells you who he is and then commands: “Don’t tell anyone.” Your life is changed but you have to keep the change-maker a secret. Right!


Some secrets should not be kept.


Try this one. You are just walking along the shoreline minding your own business. Familiar scene. Then you look: why that’s Bill Gates. “Hi” you say. “Hi” he responds. Well, you’ve got his attention so you start some small talk about Microsoft. “Do you know who I am?” he asks. “Why, yes, you’re Bill Gates.” “That’s right.” You’ve got one chance: “How did you make it?” He gives away his blue-print to you. He warns you not to tell anyone you know. You go off to plan your life accordingly. Your direction is changed, and your faith in his way is strong. Substitute Bill Gates for anyone you wish; Kobe Bryant, St. Vin Scully, Elizabeth Taylor. Or any current famous person. And you are invited to spend time together. WOW.


Bored yet? A life-long dream has been to break into “the industry.” I bet you’d be all over the star. I wonder if you would argue with any of those great expert game changers.


Can you say the same about God and his greatest revelation, Jesus?


That’s the Jesus test. How did you do? No cheating!