Lviv, September 16, 2020
Glory be to Jesus Christ!
Seeking God’s inner beauty
“God has made everything beautiful”
I greet all of you as we begin a new Catechetical Year! I express my gratitude to you on behalf of all the pastors of the Church for your beautiful ministry!
I pray you and your family had a restful and fun-filled summer. I appreciate it may have been different with the pandemic still upon us, and that you had to be creative in finding ways to enjoy God’s creation while physical distancing and staying safe.
Well, a new Church or Liturgical Year begins. We know things will be different and will require some adjustments along the way, but together we walk hand in hand as we explore God’s love and beauty in our lives and in the world around us.
Beauty. Inner beauty. I spent a lot of time this summer reflecting on beauty, and I’d like to ask you to do the same during this church year with those whom you catechize.
Thinking about beauty came to me early on at the outset of the pandemic. One day, I was in my office at the Pastoral Centre (Chancery Office), speaking with someone on the phone. As I often find myself doing, I spun my chair around and looked out the window at the passersby on the street. I was startled by someone who had stopped and was staring back at me through the window! Well, she wasn’t’ really staring at me. Let me explain.
You see, the windows to our Pastoral Centre have a reflective film on them, so you can see out from the inside but you can’t see in from the outside. From the outside, the reflective film is like a mirror, and you can see yourself in the mirror. Ann, we’ll call her, wasn’t really looking at me; she was looking at herself. She was combing her hair, putting on her lipstick, fixing her blouse. In my eyes, and in my heart, she was beautiful. She was a princess!
The reality is that Anna lives on the streets. She’s homeless, as are many who live around our Pastoral Centre and Saint Josaphat Cathedral. That doesn’t mean that Anna’s not beautiful. That day, looking at herself in the “mirror” of our window, she saw beauty – beauty on the outside, and beauty on the inside. That day, God gifted me with a glimpse of how beautiful Anna is, in God’s eyes, and in mine.
God “has made everything beautiful” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are beautiful. Everything around us is beautiful. That’s the way God created us, created in God’s image and likeness.
This church year, take time to see God’s beauty in every sunrise, every sunset, in the world around us, in those whom you catechize, and in each other. Let us remind ourselves, we are baptized into Christ, that God’s love, beauty and glory are best revealed in the life of God’s son, Jesus Christ. The best way to see God’s beauty is to be in relationship with Christ, each and every day.
And if you don’t see God’s beauty, clean your glasses (if you wear them), then look again!
Catechists, as we begin a new Catechetical Year, I pray that the Holy Spirit blesses you and your ministry in passing on our faith in Jesus Christ – who loves and cares for us – to our children, youth, and adults whom you teach, but also to your own children, family, and friends.
God bless you!
Bishop David Motiuk
Chair, Patriarchal Catechetical Commission
Eparchy of Edmonton