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Conducting a Search

My key word for today is Search.  I want to talk about three groups of people who are conducting searches. 

 

First the Magi.  Then two young disciples.  And then, people in our world today.  You might call them search parties: the Magi, two young disciples and our society today.

 

The Magi were searching for a newborn king.  They were scientists who were following the path of a new star in the sky.  They believed that every king has his own star.  So, the appearance of a new star told them that there must be a new king out there somewhere.  They came from the east and they travelled only at night and every night they searched the sky until they found their star.

 

The magi followed that star more than 500 miles until they finally came to the place where Jesus was born.  Then they gave their gifts to the newborn king and went on their way because they had successfully completed their search.

 

The second search party is the two young disciples.  Philip and Nathaniel were fishermen on the Sea of Galilee, and they were young and restless.  They were searching for something more important in life.  They were looking for a career that would be more meaningful.  And their search ended when Jesus came along and called them to serve the Kingdom.

 

Jesus called them to pursue something more important than their careers in the fishing boat.  He called them to serve a higher goal: the goal of building up the Kingdom of God.  Jesus said, “Follow me.” and he took them to see the poor and the rich, the healthy and the sick, the famous people and the outcasts.  Jesus said to them, “Help me to pull all of these people together into one family.  Help me to create a world in which all contention will cease, and every division will melt away.  Help me to create a lasting unity and a lasting peace.”

 

Philip and Nathaniel said Yes to that call.  It meant a big change because they had to leave their boats behind.  But with a cheerful disposition and a willing spirit, they said Yes when Jesus called them to serve the Kingdom.

 

But several months down the road they began to waver…Especially when Jesus said, “You must take up the cross if you want to follow me.”  They began to follow Jesus less and less and they were absent when he died on the cross.  But after he rose from the dead, they felt the call once again.  They came forward and began to preach openly   -   even though it was very dangerous to do so.  Before long they received the consequences for preaching openly about Jesus and His kingdom.  They were persecuted in every town and then they were killed for clinging to their faith.

 

Their search led them to Jesus and to his Kingdom and to his cross and to his resurrection.   Their search led them to paradise where there is no more suffering, no more tears, no more sadness but only the fullness of joy and peace.  

 

Part Three:  Our search today.  It is safe to say that everyone today is searching for harmony and peace.  Harmony in the house; harmony in the church, harmony in our country and harmony in the world. 

 

In today’s second reading God is calling us to work for harmonious relationships in all sectors of our lives.  When we achieve harmonious relationships, our search will be ended.  How do we go about that work?  We need to set aside any suspicions that we may have, and we need to bring ourselves to believe that people are acting in good faith.  And we need to bring ourselves to remember that other people are seeing parts of the truth that we cannot see.

 

We need to relax our grip on our expectations so that others will be able to negotiate with us and build a consensus with us.  We also need to bring our search to our prayer time.  We should join our prayers with the prayer that Jesus offered on the night before He died: 

 

“I pray, Father, that all may be one, as you are in me and I in you.  I pray that all may be one in us.”  (end of quote)

 

I conclude by asking us to do some searching.  We join the Magi in searching for the newborn king.  We join the two young disciples in their search for meaning and purpose in life.  And we join everyone in searching for harmony and peace.

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Br. Ralph Edwin Dahl, osc     1938–2024

The Mass of Christian Burial for Br. Ralph will take place at 11 a.m. on July 25, at the Crosier Priory in Onamia,

with the Office of the Dead at 7:30 a.m. (Morning Prayer) followed by the Reception of the Body at 9:30 a.m. and visitation at 10 a.m.

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