This is the question that Jesus asked Andrew and John as he was beginning His public ministry and it is the question that He continues to ask us! To help us answer the question I would like to quickly talk about the Sistine Chapel. Michaelangelo begins with the creation of Adam. He seems very lazy and relaxed – but filled with potential and hope – just waiting for that explosive moment – (it is the image of God’s finger extending to Adam’s) and life begins. But then it all begins to unravel – the Fall – the light is fading away. This is the image in front of the Sistine Chapel. The scene continues down the side aisle with the sacrifice of Noah – the Flood – then it ends with Noah drunk and disgraced. Compare Adam & Noah – and look at what we have become – from all that hope and potential. Now as an aside, a disturbing news story this week – since 1998 mortality rates across the world are generally getting better – but not is USA – not for middle aged whites with limited education – mortality rates is increasing – suicides – drug overdoses, alcohol related liver disease. Since 1998 ½ million people who should be here are gone. Some say it is due to financial issues? Loss of jobs? Manufacturing gone? However, Ross Dowthat - notes a decline in marriage rate & religious attendance. His take is that this suggests a loss of meaning and purpose! A growing darkness, emptiness and despair. Now back to Michaelangelo. Michaelangelo does not let the story end with Noah. We are being drawn back to the front of the church down the other side and the last figure he paints is Jonah which is bright/almost falling off the ceiling – and if he fell, where would he land? The altar!
This past week our Sabbatical program focused on the new Evangelization which is basically sharing with others how God has touched our lives and made a difference. We have the answer to darkness – emptiness – for those who have lost hope! The answer to the question which I posed in the beginning is Christ for he has come to offer us the hope that we are all longing for! How do we share that message? Our efforts make a difference. A difference literally between life and death. May we be able to share that message of hope with those around us.
God’s continued Peace,
Fr. Yvon J. Royer