Sunday, March 3, 2013

Drawing Homework

I am spending my Sunday night working on my drawing homework. In class, I drew a footbridge that was large in the foreground and diminished in the background. It came out rather well, but I have to finish the landscape scenery that surrounds it. Today, I have to draw a human face. It is difficult to draw. I can begin to appreciate God's mastery in creating the human species. Amazing. All these variations and details.

The Patriarch's visit went very well yesterday. He liked our singing and he enjoyed the reception we threw for him. It was a great time for many people. We are in the oldest diocese of the world. He spoke of the plight of Christians in Israel: 10,000 Christians surrounding by 250,000 Muslims in a country of 450,000 Jews.

Being a pastor in this area presents some real challenges. Sometimes people who are not overly catechized will go to whichever parish gives them what they want. If they want their child baptized but don't want to come to baptismal classes, they move to the born-agains or evangelicals. They don't like any obstacles in their path, especially when a party is already planned. However, people don't realize that these other faiths have rules as well.

For many rules are obstacles and they take it personally. If one tries to establish any level of catechesis, it is not of great interest and they take it as an affront. It becomes, "Why don't you like me?" Many don't want to see any good reason for a church to have rules. They don't realize these rules are there to help them. It doesn't matter the nationality. People will go around the processes to get what they want when they want it. They also get multiple people to be involved in the process and if there is a breakthrough in one direction, that is the route they take. Their anger builds because they become frustrated. I find it interesting that people don't want to understand why churches do what they do.

Oh, well. We also have many people who want to be enriched. This is where we set out hearts.

I liked the Patriach's homily because it shifted the focus on one's more minor concerns to the life and death realities that confront many. Hang-nail sized concerns become enormous and we can't see the larger picture.

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