Fr. Tom, 07-09-17

Dear Loyola Parishioners & Visitors:
Today’s readings offer hope to us who have become weighed down by the things of the flesh, our humanity, our humanity disconnected from the Spirit that dwells within us. It is as if we do not take the time or create the
space to allow the Spirit of Christ alive within us to inform and reinterpret the concerns we carry in our daily lives.

It is not enough to dwell in the same house as another, we must interact and connect with the other for us to experience life with the other. Whether alone or together with another, our view of the world is the same; but, the other’s looking at the same reality and interpreting that reality through the lens of kindness, compassion, awe, astonishment, gratitude, etc. can transform our own experience and interpretation of how things are going for us and the life world we inhabit. Whereas we may see the changes to our bodies brought on by aging with sadness, the other can see beauty. How with age the body bears the marks and signs of having lived like a tree whose bark has been cut into by young lovers noting their love when the tree was much younger. The scorch marks of having been hit by lightning, or wounded by a forest fire but surviving and bearing the marks on its trunk.

To the other, we may become more desirable and attractive because that grey or whitening hair just adds a
sign of maturity and experience absent in a younger self. The stories one has to share have more depth than a younger self could ever have produced, more context, more nuances. The world is not as black and white as it once seemed, or as relative either. We may find ourselves in a funk and the other offers us their view or thoughts and it completely changes the perspective from which we are interpreting our lives and life world.

Living in the flesh is living in ourselves; living in the Spirit is living in the presence of that which exists in this world but is not of this world and has a radically different understanding of ourselves, our life world, and what matters. Jesus invites us to live in and with that presence and experience life much lighter than we are right now.

Fr. Tom