I’ll bet you’re wondering what we will come up with next! Over the last six weeks, our parish has been considering how God comforts his people with the promise and birth of his only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Center stage has been the crazy popular Danish word, hygge, which means comfort, coziness, and a feeling of warm intimacy and connection. Just yesterday I opened a Christmas present from a parishioner that was a book entitled, I’m So Full of Happy Today: The Hygge Wisdom of Children.
It’s undeniable. Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a huge hit at Saint Brendan. I keep hearing echoes of how well-accepted it has become among us. People mention it on the way in or out of church, write about it in emails, and send pictures as examples. Even at Mass last week, when I asked people if they knew the highest point in my life (which was when I was awarded the lead role in my fourth grade play, Winnie the Pooh) someone actually shouted out “Hygge!”
In our new message series starting today and running through the last Sunday before Lent, we want to show you exactly why the Church and our cozy, little parish, in particular, is the best place to feel the spiritual hygge of God and to experience his comfort in your life. That’s why we’re calling this new series, It’s Better In Here.
Each week, the readings and homily will point out the ground for our hope in a better life through our common worship, connection with one another, growth in faith, service to others, and the spiritual wellness we experience in this place that we call home: Saint Brendan Church and School.
In this week’s gospel, Andrew found his brother, Simon Peter, and brought him to Jesus. Both men followed the one whom John the Baptist identified as the “Lamb of God.” They were seeking the Messiah. Jesus asked them, “what are you looking for?” to which they responded, “where are you staying?” and Jesus said, “come and you will see.” They addressed Jesus as “Rabbi,” or “Teacher,” which suggests that they were searching, at least in part, for wisdom and knowledge.
In a world filled with bad news, intentionally false reports and statistics, and misleading propaganda, the Church established by Jesus Christ is the place where you will find information that is timeless, accurate, and absolutely true, because it was revealed to the apostles by God himself. Although her leaders individually are imperfect, the teachings of the Church on matters of faith and morals are infallible and can be trusted. Thousands of saints throughout the history of Christianity have believed in this reality and have staked their lives on its truth.
At the end of the gospel account this week, Jesus tells Simon Peter that his new name is Cephas, which means “rock” in Aramaic, because he was to be the rock of truth upon which the Christian Church was to be built. Most of us who attend Mass each week already realize this, but what about the others? Will we reach out to them and say, like Jesus, “Come and see.” It’s just better in here.
Father Roger Gustafson