Letters from a Pastor to His People- September 23, 2018
In the Gospel of Mark there is a motif known as the "Messianic Secret." Jesus desires his identity as the Messiah to remain hidden. We saw it in last weekend's Gospel, when Peter calls Jesus 'the Christ." The Gospel reads immediately afterwards, "Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him" (Mk 8:30).
Jesus keeps quiet in the Gospel this week as well. "Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it" (Mk 9:30).
Why did Jesus not want people to know who he truly was? It seems odd, doesn't it? I mean, we wouldn't today tell people not to talk about Christ. In fact, just the opposite. We want people to tell the world about the Lord.
I won't go into all the reasons for the Messianic Secret. The best explanation I recall reading is that Jesus wanted the people to fall in love with him. Jesus did not want people to be swept up in the grandeur of the 'Messiah.' If people knew who Jesus was, from a title and functional standpoint, before they came to know him as a person, they may not have authentically been attracted to him.
Think about it. We like (or dislike) the president. We don't really care all that much about the person himself. It's the institution of the presidency, and the office-holder's political party and stance on issues, towards which we have an opinion or an emotion. As soon as that individual is out of office, the man himself doesn't mean much to us.
Not the case with Jesus. Jesus himself is who matters. He says, "Come to me..." Yes, Jesus is Messiah and King, but we should start by loving Jesus for who he is and not what he can do. That is why he kept his identity hidden.
How do you see Jesus in your life today? I hope he wouldn’t try to avoid us because we see him only as a title (e.g., someone who can give me something) and not as a person.
Today is the Seminary Appeal Weekend. Your contribution is important to the formation of our future priests and the overall health of the Archdiocese, so we’re very grateful. We welcome the four seminarians assigned to our parish for the year. More information about the seminarians can be found in this bulletin.
The Pastoral Council will meet tomorrow, Monday, September 24th. Thank you to David Plier, the chair of the PC, and all of the members who put so much hard work in fulfilling our parish's goals.
The SJS girls basketball teams will be playing this week in the gym. Thursday we have a "pack the gym" night, hosted by the athletic board. Pat Aylward and Katie Malenock have done a great job with our athletic program. Football, cross country, and girls basketball are going well, and a couple weeks ago we had a pep rally in the gym for all the athletes and their families. It was a great time, and everyone was able to meet our new mascot, Touhy the Trojan!
Congratulations to Mrs. Margie Marshall, our principal, who had her child, Thomas Patrick Marshall, a few weeks ago. Margie, her husband Nate, and Tommy are doing well. So is Mrs. Kathleen Barton, who has been serving as our interim principal and doing a great job.
Thank you again to all who made the Emerald City Gala possible, particularly Kim McAuliffe and her committee. And thank you all who made contributions to the auctions and to all who attended. It was a great success! I will provide an update on how much we raised as soon as we finish our accounting.
Yours in Christ,