I recently watched a documentary on PBS about the first lunar landing. The anniversaries of Apollo 11’s launch date of July 16, 1969 and successful lunar landing on July 20, 1969 are coming up. Rightly so, this documentary, and others I have watched about Apollo 11 go to great lengths to trace back to those people throughout history who dreamed of landing on the moon; many of whom were thought to be a bit wacky in their own time. But there is always the same pattern in discovery: dream (ask ‘what if?’), vision, plan, do, achieve, ask ‘what’s next’? But what such documentaries celebrating human achievement most times neglect is the God-given gift of curiosity that is the foundation of all search for knowledge, especially knowledge of the transcendent.
Do you have family members, perhaps your own children or grandchildren who no longer practice any kind of faith life? Have you been paying attention to the news to see the effects of the world becoming more Godless, more focused on consumerism, less respectful of others and certainly less respectful of the value of all human life? Are you feeling that your life is full and joyful, or does something seem to be missing? If any of these questions hit home, or perhaps similar ones come to mind for you, are you curious as to whether there are helpful answers to these questions? Take heart. There are answers. There is something better waiting for you.
God wants you, me, all of us to be fully alive and joyful. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10) Jesus is the answer in your life to lasting joy and fullness of life; Jesus is the answer to your questions of meaning and purpose here in this life, not just in the after-life.
The way that you deepen your relationship with Jesus is the same way that you invest in any positive relationship: you get to know him better, you make time to be with him, you tell Jesus what is on your heart and you listen to his voice, you learn as much as you can about your faith and you draw inspiration and courage from listening to the witness of others who have Christ in their life. You challenge yourself to try new things and discover news ways to love larger – in the lives of your loved ones, in your faith community and in the larger community beyond the Church walls.
This summer you will begin to see new opportunities at the Quad Parishes to help you dream, envision, plan, and build a deeper, richer relationship with God. We are not called to merely believe in Jesus; we are called to be his disciples – taking his love out to others. The Church has a mission; each of us is called through our baptism to serve that mission. When you see opportunities offered in the coming months to help you deepen your relationship with Jesus, be curious. Who knows where that curiosity will take you?