(Photo from Father Lawrence Lew, O.P. - God’s Excessive Love - Used With Permission)
" "In the first place it should be known that if a person is seeking God, his beloved is seeking him much more." — St. John of the Cross

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guest Post - Be Disruptive!

[I am honored to welcome Rev. Mr. Adolph Uryniak as my guest blogger today. Ordained to the permanent Diaconate in 2006, the good Deacon resides in New York State with his wife, Sue, their three sons and six precious grandchildren. He fuels and sustains his passion to evangelize by spending much time each week before the Eucharistic Lord he loves and serves so well.]

Be Disruptive!

By Deacon Adolph Uryniak

(Source of Image: Wikimedia Commons)
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

With these words Christ poses a disruptive challenge. Disruptive in that it exchanges following Mosaic Law, for following the two great Commandments of “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

In reality, following the two Great Commandments encompasses all of Mosaic law; it’s a matter of how you go about it.

The disruption comes in how one changes from one paradigm to the other.

A few weeks ago, taxi drivers in major cities of the world, like London, Paris and New Deli, went on strike and stopped their cabs for a couple of hours in the center of these heavily congested cities. The traffic jam was not the disruption, the disruption was the change that the internet was bringing to travel in these major cities. The change was disruptive, that is it changed the way of life for these taxi drivers and how they earned their livelihood.

An internet company named “Uber” has developed a smart phone app whereby a person may request transportation from where they are, to where they wish to go, at a time of their choosing and a driver who chooses how much he wishes to work and when he wishes to work will come and take them there at a cost that is 40% to 60% less than a taxi charges. Technology has disrupted the status quo.

In London, for example, the ‘Black cabs’ that you see ubiquitously, are driven by a driver who studied the streets of London for 3 or 4 years and then took a test to get his license. The “Uber” driver simply uses GPS to get where he’s going.

Technology has brought about a disruptive change.

Christ’s “my yoke is easy and my burden is light” brought just such a disruptive change to the scribes and Pharisees.  Mosaic Law has some 613 rules and Jews of the time spent considerable time in study at the synagogue. Jesus’ burden, on the other hand, of “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself”, like GPS directions, was easier to learn and understand. It wasn’t any easier to live, it was just easier to learn, and the scribes and Pharisees were disrupted in their teaching of the law. The status quo was upset and the livelihood of the scribes and Pharisees was affected to the extent that they held unfavorable views of Jesus as the cause of their disruption.

It may be time for us to become disruptive. Not in the whole
world, but in our little corner of it. Jesus has already shown us the way, but daily life has come to move at such a frantic pace, that a disruption to claw back, or recover, time to live out Jesus’ injunction may be in order.

This is one way to take charge of our lives. First recognize that the only change you can effect is to change yourself. You have to find time for yourself. A way to do so might well be to take advantage of the Perpetual Adoration chapel here at our parish. As you enter, leave the world at the door and, after clearing your mind of the concerns of the day, enter into a dialog with the Holy Spirit.

Listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling you, then offer your cares and concerns to Him. As you leave the Chapel to re-enter the world, take with you the guidance of the Holy Spirit and live it.

So far, the only one you’ve disrupted is yourself.

Now to disrupt our part of the world, let’s listen to the advice of St. Anthony of Padua, in a sermon he wrote some 1,100 years ago. It still works for us today:

“The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal ourselves, these virtues, to others. Actions speak louder than words: let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: 'a law laid upon the preacher to practice what he preaches.' It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines it with his actions.”

Living our faith journey can be disruptive, even if it’s only by living it in our community.

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