Your friend in Christ,
Praised be Jesus Christ! Some of the best music produced these days comes in the form of movie soundtracks. My favorites include “A Beautiful Mind,” “Moneyball,” and “Remember the Titans.” Years ago when I was still in charge of the high school seminary I was taking the students to school when someone asked Matt Marshall (who is now one of our finest priests) how he managed to cut himself shaving so many times. He explained that he’d been listening to the soundtrack of the movie “Gladiator.” Poor Matt - once the adrenaline got going he threw caution to the wind and shaved as if there were no tomorrow! That movie, loosely based on the Roman Empire during the time of Marcus Aurelius and his successor Commodus, refers at various times to an ancient conception of the afterlife. Adopted from Homer’s Odyssey, the Romans thought of life after death in terms of a place at the far edges of the world, a place called “Elysium”. The movie does a decent job of conveying the hope that the Romans had of a world on the other side of mortality. The final scene is the most compelling as it is accompanied by a haunting song titled “Now we are free”. Long before Jesus lived in this world, people had their hearts set on a world that would exceed this one in beauty, love, and peace. Today is no different, as the aspirations for eternal life are commonly heard in music as diverse as Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven,” or Coldplay’s “Paradise.” It seems people have always hoped our life would continue, even after death played its inevitable part. Jesus made the most radical claims in this regard, as he metaphorically pointed out how He could raise the Temple just three days after it had been destroyed. Only after discovering His empty tomb did the people realize Jesus had predicted His own resurrection from the dead. From that day forward all references to the afterlife could only have traction in connection with Jesus’ great Passover from this world to the world that will never end. And lest anyone think it is not clear that Jesus knew where He was going, His words to the “good” thief while dying on the cross provide convincing evidence to the contrary: “This day you will be with me in paradise,” (emphasis mine). Not everyone is convinced by the Bible because it lacks the scientific rigor we prefer these days when assessing veracity. However, centuries ago folks like Galileo recognized that “the Bible shows the way to go heaven, not the way the heavens go.” Certainly, the Bible is not a scientific tome explaining all of the mysteries that both surround and confound us. Just the same, you know that the word “Bible” can function as an acronym: “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” Maybe that’s a good place to begin: that each of us will leave here someday. In the meantime, we have so many advantages that were not enjoyed by the Greeks and the Romans at the time of Christ. It’s no wonder Jesus said, “Blessed are your eyes . . . . that see what many longed to see but did not see, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it,” (Matthew 13:16a, 17a). As we come to the end of this four week meditation on the last things (death, judgment, Heaven and Hell) the challenge for us is to live always in light of the reality that we are in the world, but not of the world. What happens next week is God’s response to sin and death – He comes to destroy them but almost no one suspected this because of His humble beginnings. This Baby holds the keys to the gates of Heaven: “and a little child will lead them all” – Isaiah got it right, which is good news for all the world! May God teach us to love the things of Heaven so that we may be free of the attachments of Earth!
Your friend in Christ,
Monday - Friday: 7:00 AM
Saturday: 8:00 AM
Saturday: 4:30 & 7:00 PM
Sunday: 7:00, 9:00 & 11:00 AM
Tuesday–Thursday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM
Friday: 6:30 - 6:50 AM & 7:00-8:00 PM
Saturday:3:45 -4:15 PM & 6:15 -6:45 PM
PERPETUAL ADORATION: The Marshfield Deanery has the John Paul II Adoration Chapel located in the basement of St. John the Baptist Parish, at 201 W. Blodgett St. The chapel is accessible from the rear parking lot. For more information or to sign up:
contact Dale at 715-383-2262 or Jean Kaiser 715-387-0571. Click on the image below for more information.
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Welcome From Our Pastor
Welcome to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church! Ever since 1877 this parish has been assisting souls in their quest for deeper union with God. Pope John Paul II called the parish a “school of prayer” and St. John’s is committed to promoting growth in holiness in every state in life. Each of us is called... Read More
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