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Bishop's Message: Oh I Know This

You may recall that last month I talked about how much time I spend driving around our state and how much I enjoy listening to the radio while I am in the car, especially Catholic radio. Another program I listen to regularly is NPR’s “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” It’s a lot of fun and a good test of the contestants’ and listeners’ knowledge and awareness of the news of the day.

With this issue of Parable we’re beginning a new column: Catholic Quiz. Think of it as our own version of “Wait, Wait….” Our quiz won’t make it to the radio (at least, not yet), but it will be an engaging, fun and enlightening exercise for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. I know that we’ll provide many of the answers as part of the features, but if you listen to Catholic radio, you’ll often get “the rest of the story.”

Thinking about all of this put me in mind of something Pope Francis said in Evangelii Gaudium/The Joy of the Gospel. He wrote: “Despite the tide of secularism which has swept our societies, in many countries – even those where Christians are a minority – the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need. Again and again the Church has acted as mediator in finding solutions to problems affecting peace, social harmony, the land, the defense of life, human and civil rights, and so forth. And how much good has been done by Catholic schools and universities around the world! This is a good thing. Yet we find it difficult to make people see that when we raise other questions less palatable to public opinion, we are doing so out of fidelity to precisely the same convictions about human dignity and the common good.” (65)

The Holy Father’s point is that we must be engaged in this world and the world to come. We must always keep our priorities straight, bearing in mind that this earthly domain is not our eternal home, but we cannot ignore one realm to concentrate solely on the other.

It may surprise some of you to hear that your bishop listens to – and enjoys! – a news quiz show on NPR, but we know that we hold the Bible as the Word of God and we also know that we rely on the interpretation of that living word; its truth must be applied to daily living. As Catholic Christians we derive our teachings from the Holy Bible and from the Holy Tradition (that is, the practical application of the Bible) that comes to us from Jesus, the Apostles and those who followed them, for our way of living in the world. And while we must grow as individual sons and daughters of God and we also must grow as a whole human race toward the lived truth of God.

I hope that Parable, our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, along with CatholicTV and radio and all other forms of Catholic media help you as you sift and refine the many and varied bits of news, information, and opinion that are thrown at you each day, especially in these uncertain times. So, happy listening and happy gaming! I hope that with family and friends taking the quiz together you’ll also soon be shouting, “Wait, wait, don’t tell me; I know this…”