Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Words from Fr Ed (From January 15th, 2012 Bulletin)

Rabbi, where are you staying?
     - John 1:38
One has to believe that John the Evangelist had a sense of humor in writing this simple request of Andrew and another of the Baptist’s disciples. It is a far reach from the mystical theology that he begins his gospel with: as we read on Christmas Day, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) By the end of the chapter he is getting to the radical collision between the Divine and the trembling human.

Andrew and company hardly knew what to do with Jesus. I’m sure they had their hands full with trying to follow the extreme, outside the margins John the Baptist. Now he is pointing to this ‘Lamb of God’ whose sandals, the Baptist confesses, he is unworthy to untie. Mercy. Even as they begin to literally follow Jesus down the path He was on, perhaps at what they thought was a comfortable distance, Jesus initiates the dialogue by asking, “What do you seek?”

They weren’t prepared. One thinks Jesus was probing for something more esoteric like “Truth”, “Justice”, “Righteousness”, or “The Kingdom”. No, they could only come up with something that kept some buffer between them and the Most High, “Rabbi, where are you staying?” One could imagine other questions with as little significance like, “What kind of bread do you prefer?”, or “What is your favorite wood to use when making cabinets?” Andrew and his friend were ready to follow, but on their own terms. Little did they know…

Jesus invites each of us to “Come and see”, come and see where He operates at His best. This entails a literal following of Christ, using our bodies to get up and follow Him somewhere. Paul gives us some clue in the second reading to the consequence of placing our bodies at the service of God.  “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? But whoever is joined to the Lord becomes one Spirit with him.” Joining our bodies to the Lord makes our spirits follow because we are a composite of soul and body. One depends on the other. We don’t just follow Christ spiritually. We follow Him body and soul. That’s why Jesus can draw Andrew and company in by simply inviting them to bodily come and see where he stays.

Mass and March for Life
One of the most powerful works on behalf of the sanctity of life is occurring tomorrow, January 17th, beginning with a Mass for Life at the St. Martin’s Pavilion in Lacey at 9:30am. Archbishop Sartain will preside. Following the Mass, Fr Ed and friends will hike from St. Martin’s, time-permitting, to the capitol steps for the March for Life at noon. Since it is a five-mile walk, we may need to drive half-way to make the March on time. Details will be given on site after the Mass. The March itself is an important witness to our legislators of the value and sacredness of life. If the right to life is not respected, all other rights become moot.

A Few Good Men
Terrific Tuesdays is in need of a few good men to provide hospitality for our suppers. Terrific Tuesday Meals is an evangelical ministry that began in June 2010 and has been going strong ever since. Each Tuesday we feed over 100 guests with the help of volunteers from St. Stephen, First Evangelical Presbyterian Church, and New Beginnings Christian Fellowship. St. Stephen the Martyr is the host site for these meals every other month and we would like to increase our male involvement from the parish during our host months. The majority of our homeless are men, who, in addition to a nutritious meal, benefit from the fellowship offered at Terrific Tuesdays. We encourage Table Hosts to sit with our guests at the meal. In addition to fellowship, we would like to increase an authoritative presence on our Church grounds.  This is an opportunity to walk the talk and follow Christ's words: 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' ~ Matthew 25:31. If you would be interested in helping out with Terrific Tuesday Meals please contact us at Thank you for your support.

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