Saturday, June 27, 2020

Hurray for My Side?

Are we so guilty of not loving one another, that we need to draw party lines, and create causes and movements simply asking for the respect that we already deserve as God’s children?

I’m realistic in knowing who I am, and what I’m not. I know that I’ll never win a 50 yard dash, or a Nobel Prize. I know about the amount of loss that can come one’s way, and still be left to wonder why. I know the collective evils of our past, and how we’re called to build upon times when we lost our humanity, making this life something worth passing on to our children and grandchildren.

I’m trying to stay positive, but it’s very difficult to see my country become such a polarized community, maintain such anger and cynicism, that it can’t just allow itself to breathe and to become the great society and source of life that it can truly be.

So Please... Please, from the bottom of this heart, that has felt so much love and acceptance from just about everyone along my way, especially in midst if my own imperfection, could you just relax?

I need no slogans, or a banner to fly on my behalf... What I need is for us to work hard on becoming the amazing children of God that we are, and I need us to be ok with our needs and flaws, and ask for help when the time comes. 

And when that time comes, and someone asks for help... For God’s sake, give it!

Monday, April 20, 2020

From Encounter to Trust

"The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 4:8)

There's something mysterious about this faith of ours, and yet it makes total sense.  None of us can pinpoint its true origin, nor can know where it's headed.  But we see it, understand it, and live it, as it exists in the hearts of all.

Now, it would be fair to say that we can identify its origin with the birth of Jesus Christ, or at Pentecost, with the establishment of the Church, but this mystery has been present since the beginning of creation.  This wind swept over the mighty waters. (Genesis 1:2)  Moses heard and knew the Lord from a Burning Bush! (Exodus 3: 1-14) Christ called upon its history when he reminded the faithful that the "new law" was to follow the already established existing law, to "love the Lord with your whole heart," (Deuteronomy 6:5) and to "love your neighbor as yourself." (Leviticus 19:18) Finally, Christ eluded to an innate common sense that identifies our ability to decipher this mystery when he said that, "When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain—and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot—and so it is..."  Therefore assuring us that we are very well equipped to live and trust in this faith of ours!

So what do we have such a hard time trusting?

The clouds still gather in the western sky before the storm, and the south wind still continues to make things hot.  While mysterious in nature, do you think God can follow up on the things that he has promised? (cf. Isaiah 46:11) Do you think that His love for you is true, and that his path for you is secure? (cf. Psalm 37: 3-4)

"But whoever lives the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God." (John 3: 16-21)

"The one who comes from above is above all. The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things." (John 3:31)

"A Pharisee in the Sanhedrin named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up, ordered the Apostles to be put outside for a short time, and said to the Sanhedrin, “Fellow children of Israel, be careful what you are about to do to these men... Have nothing to do with these men, and let them go. For if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God." (Acts 5: 35, 38-39)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Don't Shoot Me... I'm Just the Messenger!

Recently, a friend posed a challenge to his FB circle, asking the question, how can one keep silent during these days and times?  Quite frankly, it is definitely NOT silent out there, as opinions fly LEFT and RIGHT on a second by second basis!  Our world's public base has never been more involved in the sharing of its thoughts, ideas, and feelings regarding one another and the decisions that we "celebrate" or "endure" each day.

What I would consider to be a silenced element in the discussion (and I do understand why that is), would be the historical wisdom that can be gleaned from the Scriptures.  As a Catholic Deacon, I am proud to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God on a regular basis, and I see challenges and answers to today's issues and questions offered by a God who loves us and dwells among us...

In my circle, the Sunday Scriptures have been quite poignant lately, providing a model for the general challenges and maybe solutions at hand.  I'll let the heart of the reader make the connections, and highlight the call for any future actions needed to defend the status quo or bring about necessary change.  My invitation for you is to simply read, absorb and consider.  I offer no conclusions, or bullet points. 

From Sunday, July 1st...

"For you know the gracious act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. Not that others should have relief while you are burdened, but that as a matter of equality your abundance at the present time should supply their needs, so that their abundance may also supply your needs, that there may be equality." (2 Cor. 8: 9, 13-14)

From Sunday, July 8th...

"I am sending you to the rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have revolted against me to this very day.  Hard of face and obstinate of heart are they to whom I am sending you.  But you shall say to them: Thus says the LORD GOD! And whether they heed or resist—for they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them." (Ezekiel 2: 3-5)

"Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 For. 12: 10)

From Sunday, July 15th...

“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave. Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” (Mark 6: 10-11)

From Sunday, July 22nd...

"The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place."  (Mark 6: 30-31)

OK, Just One Conclusion...

There is a greater wisdom in our midst that might be calling us to not only be greater, but is giving us a hint as to what it takes to get there!

Don't shoot me... I'm just the Messenger!

Thanks for indulging me...