February 3, 2019

FOURTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

THE SUPER BOWL!

Super Bowl 2019 is almost history. All the words and all the hype will soon be just a memory. Every Super Bowl comes to a close with one team & their fans elated – and the other team & their fans disappointed. But there is one element of the Super Bowl that fans on both sides look forward to – and they are never disappointed. That event is the debut of innovative and imaginative TV commercials. Every year, when the bowl of potato chips gets low or the glass of whatever beverage we may be enjoying is empty, we are reluctant to go to the kitchen to refill them during the commercials. We don’t want to miss what some of the greatest marketing and advertising geniuses have prepared for us. When advertisers are paying about $5.2 million this year to buy a 30-second commercial spot – it better be good!

Each year, corporations go all out to launch a new advertising campaign at the Super Bowl. Those companies have been working on their new approaches for more than a year. In doing so, they employed hundreds of advertising executives. So, what was the outcome of all the dollars and all the energy that went into these new campaigns? Well here it is. It frequently comes down to a single word or a short phrase which makes a deep impression that sticks in our heads. That’s it!

It took millions of dollars, hundreds of executive hours of meetings and discussions. Was this a huge waste of money and time? I doubt it. Mega-corporations are not prone to committing these kinds of resources only to miss their goal. The reason that they did this was most likely that they understood the importance of a word. The right word. And if you are in the business of selling, the right word is priceless.

The right word. It really is important. Have you ever struggled to find the missing word to complete a crossword puzzle? If you have, you know the importance of the right word. Not just any word will do. Or maybe as you compose a letter to someone special in your life, you search your soul and your thesaurus for the right word to communicate exactly how you feel. Not just any word will do. It must be the right word.

When your business is not sales, but it is the business of communicating compassion and God’s love, choosing the right word is even more important, and well worth the effort. In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is speaking in the Synagogue and “all spoke highly of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth” (Luke 4:21-22). For Jesus, finding the right word to carry his message was of great importance. The choice of his words to relay his message was crucial. Not just any words would do. They must be the right words.

Jesus also knew that we communicate volumes of information to others, even before we open our mouths, by our actions and our attitudes. Even the right word is useless if the person with whom we want to communicate is not listening. Salespeople learn early, if they are to survive in the sales arena, that the way that they dress, their demeanor, their mannerisms, will all communicate to their prospect before they get a chance to say a word. Make a mistake here, and the rest of the presentation is just a waste of time.

If a word is so important to us in our interpersonal relationships, in selling, and in advertising then how much more important must God’s Word be?  What actually is God’s Word? The evangelist John begins his gospel by writing: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).

To sum it up. God’s Word never changes. The Church, unlike corporations with advertising campaigns, does not call a meeting to reinvent God’s Word every year. God’s Word is eternal and unchanging and that’s always been the message!

Deacon Bob

SOUPER BOWL OF CARING

This Sunday, as we prepare to enjoy the Super Bowl with friends and family, let us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat. As you head out of Mass, you will see students from our Confirmation Program holding pots and pans. Please consider making a donation. All proceeds will benefit Eva’s Village. Join our students in making a positive difference in the world!

If you have any questions, please contact Victoria Velasco, Confirmation Coordinator, (973) 798-8772.

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