For all of us life can be and should be, an exciting experience. It does not have to be dull, drab, or boring. When I say this I am of course, not speaking in absolutes. None of us would expect, or even want continuous excitement.
Nevertheless, all of us, saint or sinner alike, do live for those times and places when life is exciting. And we more or less endure that which lies in between. In this we are all the same. The difference between us is found in the ways and means by which we seek our excitement.
In fact one of the major sources of moral misbehavior in our society today seems to be the search for the excitement as seen in many so-called reality shows today. A young person grows weary of the routine and begins to experiment with drugs, or drinking, or sex, or all of the above, in that same search for a little excitement.
What is it that motivates some people to climb mountains? Why do men and women ride rockets into outer space? Part of their motivation might be a devotion to science and that desire to serve humanity. But I suspect that part of it might also be their love of adventure. There seems to be something in our human nature that would risk an excitingdeath rather than endure a “boring” life. But for evil or for good, the need for excitement is deeply rooted in our soul.
With that said let us now turn our attention to the realm of our faith and see if the same truth applies there. I dare say, most of us seldom, if ever, think of our Catholic faith or Sunday Mass as a source of excitement. For most it is something to believe in, something to reverence, and something to sustain us in times of trouble. But a source of excitement! For most it is something to believe in, something to reverence, and something to sustain us in times of trouble. But a source of excitement! Oh no! It is far more likely that people regard it as rather dull and/or boring.
I heard a story about a mother who knocked on her son’s door one morning and said, “It’s time to get up”. But the son answered “Go away, I don’t want to get up”. So the mother said, “Come on. It’s Sunday! You must get ready for Mass”. The son then answered, “I don’t want to go to Mass – the music is drab, the prayers are predictable, and the preaching is dull”. But the mother went in, shook the bed, and said, “Stop this nonsense and get up right now. You’re forty years old, and you’re the pastor. You’ve got to go, whether you want to or not”.
Well!!!! I sincerely hope that story isn’t true, and more than likely it isn’t. But it does speak of a truth – well – a truth that many people think to themselves that sees religion as something dull, not something exciting. How sad! But the real truth is that in the New Testament, one finds a totally different understanding. The events reported there are sometimes dangerous, often difficult, always demanding, but never dull.
Jesus then and now challenges you and I with the exciting prospect of what could happen in our personal lives if we just allow our faith in Him to truly be what it ought to be. But many of us, sad to say, never think of our Catholic faith in Jesus as a means of realizing all our God-given potential. We often think of it more as a family heirloom, a piece of jewelry as it were that belonged to our parents or grandparents, or like an old watch handed down across several generations. And where does one usually keep such an heirloom? It is probably stored in some safe place at home. It may even be in a lock box at the bank. Do we treasure it? Certainly! It is very dear to us. It would trouble us deeply to lose it. But do we ever use it? Probably no!
So, for many Catholics these days they believe it, reverence it, love it, and would even defend it. But practice it? That, though, seldom, if ever occurs to them. Very sad indeed! Yet our entire New Testament was written by and about real people who practiced their faith as a means of becoming what they had the potential to be. Their message to us of this 21st century is simple and most direct. We do not have to stay the way we are right now. Miracle of character are still possible for you and me. Jesus has left us the power to experience miracles of character today. And I, for one, cannot think of anything more exciting than that. What about you?