Saturday, January 11, 2020

Saturday after Epiphany

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 2:11-15
Mass: 1 Jn 5:14-21; Resp Ps 149; Jn 3:22-30

The Lord takes delight in his people.


The words above from John the Baptist provide enough for self-reflection and asking just what it is that must decrease in me so that the Light of Christ shines more brilliantly in my life. I would like to share though, from a conversation I had with my brother about the Butler Bulldogs men's basketball team. Butler is a Division I school in Indianapolis, Indiana, and are the only non-Catholic school in the Big East conference. This year, their men's basketball team is achieving great success. They are off to their fourth 15-1 start in school history, ranked 6th in the nation in the AP poll. This is after the Bulldogs were ranked preseason to finish 8th in the Big East (out of 10 teams)! One might say their performance is stellar. The players could be getting really big heads over all of this. Yet it seems they have their priorities in order, at least according to an article in last Sunday's Indianapolis Star.

Sports reporter Greg Doyle related the performance of Kamar Baldwin, a player who didn't score a point until the second half in a contest against Creighton.  Then after nailing a 17-footer goes on a scoring spree. He is all over the place, hitting three-pointers, driving the lane, scoring with his left hand, right hand, you name it, even impressing everybody with his signature "floaters". It seemed there was no stopping Baldwin. Then something happened. It is implied that he may have become a little full of himself, taking poorly chosen shots and passing erratically, among other things. So Sean McDermott, the team captain, pulls Baldwin aside and says, "Play for an audience of one." "Who's the one?" asks the self-described "obtuse" columnist after the game. McDermott's answer? "Play for Christ … we talk about that a lot. No pressure. Just play for Him."

Baldwin apparently listened to the wisdom of his team captain. Doyle writes: "Baldwin's production immediately ascends. After Creighton creeps within 54-50, Baldwin scored nine points in the final 5 1/2 minutes. In the second half, he had 20 of Butler's 37 points." Butler went on to win 71-57. What's more important and impressive though is what is at the forefront of these players minds and hearts. And if they don't remember, someone will remind them: "Play for an audience of one." A good reminder for all of us. And just a little more beauty of the story is that the team captain did not go without his light shining: "But McDermott finished the scoring in style, with a 3-pointer with 23 seconds left. Which is only fair." 😉

How can God be the source of my strength if I haven't let him be the source of my standards?
(Sean McDermott, Twitter, January 6, 2020)      

Today's photo: A bit o fun on our Foundation Day which happily coincides with Halloween.

© Gertrude Feick 2020

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