This Sunday’s Gospel seems to present us with a startling question by Jesus: “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” What Jesus is stating in this statement is that his mission is not about the petty squabbles of everyday life. He is about sharing the Father’s love and message of Hope and Life. He understands who he is as the Son of God and what His purpose is.
In the last couple of weeks we have engaged in a survey. The purpose of the survey is to be part of an effort to get input from the people of God at St. John’s to see where we are, what our strengths are, our challenges are and the areas that we need to grow. One of the results so far that is of concern for me is our parish mission and purpose. Yes, the majority of those who participated stated they feel we have a clear mission and purpose, yet there is a noticeable number of people that do not. The results suggest that indeed, we need to come to a better understanding of who we are and what we are about if we hope to move forward. One of the first tasks of the Transition Committee will be to begin to answer that question.
There is a necessary element to this issue that rests with all of us. To understand who we are as a parish family, we need to first understand who we are individually as children of God. So often we identify ourselves by our work or our relationships with others. These certainly are important and are a part of who we are, but fundamentally they are only a part. We need to grow in our understanding of who we are, what our gifts and talents are, what areas of our life we need to change. We need to love ourselves as God loves us. I’m not sure we are so good about that part. Loving ourselves is different from being self-centered.
This again emphasizes the importance not only of taking time for quiet prayer as well as communal prayer, but also being sure to appreciate beauty in all its forms. This contributes to our well- being as a human person and as a child of God. So take time to smell the roses, to take in the beauty that surrounds us on Cape Cod, enjoy a good book, listen to music, appreciate art, enjoy life!