Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Unlikely Evangelization
Yesterday, Fr. Tharp and I met up in the thriving metropolis that is the Oklahoma City area. My campaign director had suggested a hair cut for me before the presbyteral assembly gathered. So, with that suggestion, suddenly both Fr. Tharp and I were off to get our hair cut. [For those interested, we are both sporting the wildly popular buzz cut. This style manages to capture a retro look while also adding to the impression that one is detached from the world. Bottom line is we are both freshly shorn.]

We stepped in the local Supercuts and there was a parishioner from my first assignment getting his hair cut. Then that young man's mother and brothers returned to the store and it was a nice reunion. Both Fr. Tharp and I had the same barber (I guess she would probably prefer that I say "stylist"), a Catholic, and so there was much discussion on the Church. The stylist finished with me and I sat in the waiting area, reading Cigar Aficionado, as Fr. Tharp had his turn in the chair. Suddenly, another man in the waiting area came over to me, and introduced himself into my atmosphere by saying, "I have a question for you." He had been reading a Discover magazine's report on Einstein and the theory that the universe is expanding. He wanted to know what the Church said about that theory.

So, that started some evangelization in what you might think was an unlikely place -- I certainly didn't expect to get into that at Supercuts! Any readers with input as to an answer to the man's question should feel free to comment, however, I told the man I wasn't aware if the Church had specifically or officially addressed the matter of the universe's expansion. Unless, I totally missed that memo, I don't think the Church as pronounced on that theory. But, I said, whatever is happening, I think the Church's response would be a subset of our teaching regarding creation. For us, I said, these theories of natural process don't present a problem because we see them as having been begun and being sustained by God. We do not accept an atheistic evolution. In that sense, I said, believing that God is the one who ordered things in the universe and gave them their start, He is also the one that sustains the activity of life, and therefore, He would also be the sustainer of the universe.

So, there you go, the New Evangelization at Supercuts! Who'd a thunk?

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