There’s an old joke that could have been told at any time during the past 80 years. The only change that would have had to be made to the joke would be to reference the current technology used by the young man who is featured in the joke. Here’s an updated version of the joke:
A nondescript four-door sedan is seen driving across the dusty ranchland. It finally pulls up and stops near a rancher and his ranch hand, who are standing under a tree watching a small herd of cattle graze at patches of grass near a creek.
A young man who is dressed in neatly pressed jeans and a cowboy shirt gets out of the car and says, “I have some important advice for you gentlemen.” Both ranchers laugh at him. “What could you possibly know about our ranch?”
The young man offers to make a demonstration and proposes a wager, “If I can correctly guess the number of cattle you have in your total herd, everywhere on this ranch, can I take one of your calves?”
The wager is made.
The man whips out his iPhone, counts the cattle in front of him, multiplies by a factor of pie times 3.46, downloads statistics from the Internet, and proudly proclaims, “416.”
The rancher and ranch hand nod and the young man puts his prize in the trunk of his car.
“Whoa there son,” the rancher says, “If I can correctly guess who you are, can I have my calf back?”
The wager is made.
The rancher says, “You’re a government man, probably with the U.S.D.A.” “How did you know?” asks the government agent. “Well, you showed up at my ranch uninvited, answered a question I already knew the answer to, and offered to give me advice I didn’t ask for about a business you don’t know a darned thing about. What else could you be but a dimwit consultant from the government?
Now can I please have my dog back?”
Whenever I think about this joke, I’m reminded of a lot of the Catholics that I encounter — “Cradle Catholics” who grew up in the Catholic faith, attended Catholic schools, and now think they’re experts in the Catholic faith.
You can include me in that list of Catholics. I think I can safely say that most of us really don’t know as much as we think we know or how much we could or should know about our faith.
In the marketing and advertising world there’s a name for an advertisement that has been successfully selling the same product, in the same media, for years — sometimes 30-plus years. This type of advertisement is referred to as an “evergreen ad.” The ad is like an evergreen tree that retains its color and looks new all year around. The ad generates profits year after year, without the need to ever change or update the ad.
The Catholic faith is and always will be an “evergreen” faith, and regardless of how great a scholar you may be, you will never know everything there is to know about the Catholic faith.
What’s that old saying? So much to know, so little time to learn.
Do you even know the basics of the Catholic faith? Can you recite from memory the theological virtues, the precepts of the Catholic Church, the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 7 capital sins, the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit, the 20 mysteries of the Rosary, the 10 principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the corporal and spiritual works of mercy?
Have you ever studied the writings of any of the doctors of the Church? Do you even know what a doctor of the Church is?
When was the last time you memorized a new prayer?
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the point.
Setting aside an hour each week to learn the basics of your faith would not only be of benefit to you now but would also benefit you in eternity.
The best way to guarantee that you will study your faith each week is to commit to a weekly holy hour in the St. Philomena Perpetual Adoration Chapel. When you are in the chapel, you will be able to pray, study, and learn in the presence of the greatest teacher of all time, the Son of God.
If you are not currently signed up for a holy hour at St. Philomena, you can do so by calling Jenny Witt at 309-682-8642, Ext. 2104, or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you sign up for a holy hour, you will be given a key to the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, which will allow you to visit our Lord at any time of the day or night.
More than 2000 years ago, out of frustration, Jesus asked several of His hand-picked disciples, “Could you not watch one hour with me?” Matthew 26:40; Mark 14:37.
He continues to ask that same question of you and me every day.
St. Philomena is the only parish in Central Illinois that has an adoration chapel where Jesus is present — body, blood, soul and divinity — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our Lord calls out to you and me every day to come and visit with Him.
If you’re currently signed up for a weekly holy hour, you’ve already answered His call. If you’re not signed up to visit with Him at the same time every week for an hour, you have ignored His call.
How long will you ignore Him?
You would answer a call from a loved one who was able to come back from the dead to visit with you, wouldn’t you? Are you willing to answer His call? If you don’t answer, He may choose not to answer when your soul calls out to Him as it passes from this world into eternity.
Your time may almost be up. Can you hear Him calling?