From The Pastor's Desk
Holy Family 12-30-07
I would like to take this opportunity to implore God’s deepest and choicest blessings upon you in this Holy season and to wish upon you from my heart a Merry and Christ-filled Christmas.
I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to you my wonderful parishioners for all the cards, gifts, goodies, and kindnesses that you showered upon me this Christmas! I am always humbled by such gifts and can only promise to try and return the gift to you by attempting to be the best priest I can be for you and for the up-building your life in the Lord, whose birthday we celebrate!
4th Sunday of Advent & Christmas 12-24-07
God NEVER breaks his promise. One of his most incredible promises was to send his son Jesus to enter into our human situation so that he could bring the whole human situation back to himself. What a Promise! What an amazing Mystery! Emmanuel! God with Us! This is the promise of the fourth Sunday of Advent, only to be fulfilled at the celebration of Christmas that will be here in only a few days. All the gifts and acts of love that we celebrate at Christmas are to point to the ONE gift and act of love, JESUS CHRIST!
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Merry, Joyous, and Love-filled Christmas! Thank You from the bottom of my heart for your kind words, goodies, cards and gifts! May God Bless You!
Third Sunday of Advent 12-16-07
Gaudete is Latin imperative for Rejoice. The candle in the advent wreathe is pink. A sense of joyous anticipation is in the Air. The King, the Lord, Our Savior Jesus Christ is just about here! We should live every day for the rest of our lives with great hope that soon and very soon we are going to see the Lord.
Second Sunday of Advent 12-9-07
Someone has once said, “God wants spiritual fruits not religious nuts!” We can talk about loving God and daily do all sorts of “religious things,” but if the fruits of the Holy Spirit are not present then your religion is in vain. Authentic practice of religion necessarily brings the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, and Self-control.
First Sunday of Advent 12-2-07
How must we conduct ourselves as we await the coming of the Lord so as to be ready to greet him? Here are four concrete ways to “be ready."
1. Confess your sins and do everything in your power to turn away from sin or anyway that is against love. This means making an act of contrition every day and confession on a regular basis.
2. Be a person of deep, daily, committed prayer. We must nurture our relationship with the Lord and find many solitary moments to speak with our best friend who is the intimate companion of our soul.
3. Study your Faith. Get the new catechism or a good spiritual book that will deepen your knowledge and love of the Lord and his Church of which you are a member. To know is to love and to love is to want to know more. Many Catholics have only a pre-school knowledge of their faith and hence lack any depth.
4. Service! If you are not living a life of service, you are not really living the life!
a. Seven corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty, shelter the homeless, tend the sick, visit those in prison, and bury the dead.
b. Seven spiritual works of mercy: to convert sinners, instruct the ignorant, counsel the wayward, comfort the sorrowing, bear adversities patiently, forgive offenses and pray for the living and the dead.
Do these things and you will be ready!
The Solemnity of Christ the King 11-25-07
Then the criminal asked, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Jesus replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
This passage gives all of us great Hope!
A little humility goes a long way!
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 11-18-07
Someone has once said, “Stop, Drop and Roll doesn’t work in hell!” Comical as it is, this saying does drive home the point that we need to take our relationship with the Lord very seriously. We were created by Love for Love. Those who choose hell are in a state of “living contradiction.” In other words, our entire being was loved into existence by God in order to live in a perfect union of love with God. Those who choose to reject this invitation to love, light and eternal relationship with God find themselves infinitely fragmented by the choice they made. No matter what difficulties and pains we must endure before we enter into heaven, we know that VICTORY is always the final word for those who trust in the Lord. We know that through perseverance in faith, hope and love that we secure our lives.
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 11-11-07
I want you to imagine that you are in heaven. You have left this world and now you are in God’s presence along with all the other Angels and Saints. How would you think? How would you act? How would you speak? We are sons and daughters of God. Therefore we must think, act and speak accordingly. Would we ever think a hateful thought in Heaven? Then why do we on earth? Would we ever slam somebody in Heaven? Then why do we on earth? We are in need of purification and growth in holiness! Whenever we think, act, or speak something that we would not think, act, or speak in heaven, we lower our dignity and we lessen our holiness. Let us practice the virtue (Virtue = good habit. Vice= bad habit.) of always thinking, acting, and speaking as children of Heaven.
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time 11-4-07
C.S. Lewis has this really helpful illustration. He says that in the incarnation, Jesus was like a diver. He is God in heaven looking down into this dark, slimy, murky water. That's our sinful, polluted world. God dives in, He gets himself wet. And then God came up again, dripping, but holding the precious thing he went down to recover. That precious thing was Zacchaeus, and you and me. All those sinners who have trusted in Christ. That's how we get out of the slime of tax collecting, or cheating, or lusting, or hating, or whatever other self-destructive sin we are buried in. God in Christ descended down into the slime and rescued us. Resolutions and vows to be better won't help by themselves. We don't have the power to keep them. We are stuck on the sea bottom. We have no power of our own to get up or out. All we can do is cry out for God's grace to lift us up, to rescue us.
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time 10-28-07
The tax collector was wrong, but because he threw himself on the mercy of God, was made righteous. The Pharisee was right, but because he felt he could do it without God (notice it says that he prayed to himself thus making himself his own God) he left the temple un-forgiven.
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time 10-21-07
“Faith is not so much a jump in the dark as it is a stroll in the twilight.”
Father Gerald O’Collins
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time 10-14-07
LEPROSY! Rotting flesh and stench that would make a skunk smell tolerable! The leprosy of sin is infinitely more serious than bodily leprosy. If we only knew the seriousness of the leprosy of sin to which we so easily and readily expose ourselves. According to Saint John of the Cross, even the beautiful things of this earth are pure ugliness compared to the beauty of God. How much more ugly is the rotten nature of sin. As Father Francis Martin said to a group of 2000 priests, “If you look at your life and think that it is bad, consider this... It is WORSE than what you could ever think, BUT THE SOLUTION IS GREATER THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE!” Whoever is forgiven much is filled with much gratitude and whoever has a thankful heart has a loving life. Next time you receive the sacrament of reconciliation; don’t forget to give heartfelt praise to the God who frees you and to show this love through charity to all.
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time 10-7-07
“Everyone who ever lived still does…Somewhere.”
John Henry Cardinal Newman
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time 9-30-07
“The rich help the poor in this life and the poor help the rich in the next life.” This old saying puts it well. When we give to help those who are poor and needy we are fulfilling one of our greatest needs to be like Christ and thus secure our own eternity. Often when we give we believe that we are just helping those who receive from our hands. We do not realize that when we give it is because we need to give and that it is good for us. I have never known a generous person to be without, but I have seen tight people (who justify being stingy as “thrifty”) lose what little they think they had. As the scriptures tell us, To those who give, more will be given. To those who have not given, what little they think they have will be taken away. We may work hard for what we’ve gotten and we can certainly enjoy the fruits of our labor without guilt. However, if we do not substantially and consistently share our blessings, they could be taken away. We are only stewards of God’s gifts!
25th Sunday in Ordinary Time 9-23-07
“The children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”
Jesus is telling us that worldly companies interested in making money by selling carbonated caramel water are better and more prudent, are more creative and effective in their sphere than are the children of the light! We are called to evangelize the world. Surely as individuals and as a community we need to be better at presenting Jesus to a lost world. I have got a news flash, Coca-Cola is NOT the real thing, Jesus IS!
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time 9-16-07
If I know that you are calling me, I will sometimes answer, “Hemann’s saving service. Jesus is Lord. How may I help you?” Everyone gets a laugh out of it and then we go on. The truth is. That is the work of the church. To leave the 99 and go after the lost, to imitate the Generous Father and with great generosity welcome the lost and selfish, yet repentant son back home. All of us are called by our baptism to reach out to the lost and to lovingly share the good news of salvation in Christ.
23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 9-9-07
“Do not desire crosses unless you have borne those already laid upon you as well. It is an abuse to long after martyrdom while unable to bear an insult patiently.”
St. Francis de Sales
22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 9-2-07
Humility says, “God is God and I am not!”
21st Sunday in Ordinary Time 8-26-07
The line in the song goes, “They ignore her in the grocery store, but in heaven, they will be constantly knocking at her door!” Be careful not to look down on those who are lowly and unimpressive. In Heaven, the lowly will be exalted and the last will be first. Surprise!
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time 8-19-07
THE DEACON GETS A MOMENT
Having reminded the apostles and the crowd that facing the coming judgment takes patience, Jesus now goes on to speak of how difficult it will be to wait. He tells them that he has come to set the earth on fire. The fire Jesus speaks of here is the distress caused by the coming judgment.
The coming judgment forces us to look at the implications of our commitments. As Jesus warned in last Sunday's Gospel, a commitment of faith requires us to change our attitude toward material possessions and to take even more seriously our moral responsibilities. Here he reminds the crowd that those who commit to him will find it affects the way they relate to friends and family members. We don't expect to hear such difficult words from Jesus in the Gospel. But it is good to be reminded once in a while that the decision to do the right thing, the good thing, is not always easy and without conflict. Jesus himself did not make easy decisions and avoid conflict. In today's reading, he reminds us to be prepared for difficult decisions and conflict as well.
19th Sunday in Ordinary Time 8-12-07
When I’m playing a guitar and the intonation is off that means that some notes are way out of tune. I recently played an incredibly beautiful sounding guitar, but for some reason, every time I hit a certain note, the one note was painfully out of tune and it took away from the entire beauty of the instrument. No other notes were out of tune, just this one high D note. We are like a fine guitar that gives Glory to God through living a harmoniously holy and loving life. Every time we choose to go against holiness and love even if it is only one note in one place, we rob the rest of our life of the beauty that God originally intended. In living the Christian life, we must not only rid ourselves of the crass out of tune mortal or deadly sins, but also strive to avoid even one out of tune note, the venial or ordinary offences. Jesus paid a very high price to purchase this instrument, the price of his blood.
18th Sunday in Ordinary Time 8-5-07
What is the one thing you have that sudden disaster can not take away? Answer: YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL! It would stand to reason then, that care of your soul should be the FIRST priority of your life and along with that, the care of your neighbor’s soul.
17th Sunday in Ordinary Time 7-29-07
Don’t forget God’s threefold plan for you!
1. Justification- Through baptism and the Sacrament of Reconciliation we turn away from darkness and the evil one and turn towards the Lord to receive his forgiveness. You may take 10,000 steps away, but it is only ONE step back.
2. Sanctification- This is a lifelong process whereby we allow Jesus to become more and more Lord of every area of our life. We then will be able to say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives within me.” Along with John the Baptist we say, “I must decrease and He must increase.”
3. Glorification- After the lifelong process of being sanctified i.e. growing in holiness; we leave this world for the final purification and ultimate glorification of being “Glowing Saints.”
WE MUST COOPERATE WITH THIS PLAN!
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time 7-22-07
May the Lord preserve us from mediocrity! The Lord Says, “Step it up!” It is time to get out of our comfort zone and return whole heartedly to the Lord. The state of our soul and the state of this world depends upon good and holy people who are willing to step up to the front line in this battle, and it is a battle! Thank God for the good and holy souls who pray, fast, and make reparation for the blatant offences against God! We have a universal call to holiness. It is not just for priests and sisters! It is not just for a few. This call is for every baptized person. So…STEP IT UP!
15th Sunday in Ordinary Time 7-15-07
Who is my neighbor?
The person to whom I extend mercy is my neighbor.
The person who is in need is the person to whom I extend mercy
Therefore, the person who is in need is my neighbor.
That means that everyone is your neighbor because every person has needs to one degree or another.
14th Sunday in Ordinary Time 7-8-07
IS YOUR NAME INSCRIBED IN HEAVEN?
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time 7-1-07
When the Lord calls us to follow him, he desires a radical and complete following. There are many “legitimate” reasons and things that we may have to get in order. In today’s gospel one man wanted to bury his dead father and another wanted to say goodbye to his family before following Christ. These things seem fair enough! I seriously don’t think the Lord had problems with those reasons. What I think he had problems with was an attitude that there is always something more important than proclaiming the Kingdom of God. Doing the will of God should be our first priority. No excuses. Just do it!
Nativity of St John the Baptist 6-24-07
If your days would be filled with Love, Joy and Light, then be a Christian with all your might. But life like a nightmare weighs on the the heart of the ONE who is but a Christian in Part! (From HOLINESS IN PRIESTHOOD)
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time 6-17-07
Saints are forgiven sinners!
Corpus Christi 6-10-07
Jesus said that one has no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another. At every Eucharist we remember Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for us as his body was broken and blood shed for us on Calvary. When we receive him in this Eucharist we learn that we too must reciprocate this love by laying our life down for God and for our brothers and sisters, hence bringing to completion what it truly means to LIVE the Eucharist.
Most Holy Trinity Sunday 6-3-07
The Father has a total and perfect love for the Son. The Son has a total and perfect love for the Father. The Love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit. Our call and destiny in life is to get caught up in the whirlpool of love that we call The Blessed Trinity. Now we see only analogously. In Heaven we shall see fully. To tell a man, blind from birth, what the color red is, we may put his hand on something hot. He has an idea of what red is through the sense of touch, but he really doesn’t know exactly what red looks like. Through creation, prayer, and human love we know God by analogy. One day we will see him face to face. Then we will have no questions to ask. On this earth we do not reach God so much through our understanding, as we do by FAITH, HOPE, and LOVE.
Concert! I would like to invite my wonderful parishioners to a CD debut Concert to be held at the Skate Palace, Friday, June 15th at 7:00 pm. I will be sharing all the new songs from the album “Gathered Wisdom” along with many of the most requested from the first four releases. Come and pray with me! Father David
Pentecost Sunday 5-27-07
Please consider these beautiful words by Thomas Merton:
TRUE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST LIBERATES SOMETHING IN US,
A POWER WE DID NOT KNOW WE HAD,
A CAPACITY FOR LIFE,
AN ABILITY TO BOUNCE BACK WHEN WE THOUGHT WE WERE COMPLETELY DEFEATED,
A CAPACITY TO GROW AND CHANGE,
A POWER OF CREATIVE TRANSFORMATION.
It is through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have that encounter!
The Ascension of the Lord 5-20-07
Jesus tells us to WAIT until we are clothed with power from on high, the Gift of the Holy Spirit. We need to watch and pray and let God’s Spirit move in our lives when and how he pleases. If you put a log on a hot bed of coals it just sits there for quite a while. Then at the right moment a wind blows and the log bursts into bright and beautiful flames. We need to come daily to rest and pray in the hot coals of God’s burning love. Then at the right time, you will be set on fire with his love. This time before Pentecost is a time of watching and waiting in prayer, begging God for the awesome gift of the Holy Spirit.
6th Sunday of Easter 5-13-07
God came to dwell within us on Earth in order that we may go to Heaven to dwell within Him!
5th Sunday of Easter 5-6-07
After Paul and Barnabas had proclaimed the good news to that city... they strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.”
Jesus did not make it to Heaven on a feather bed, neither should we expect to. It is with these thoughts, that I pray God’s deepest Blessings upon our seniors as they go out into the world. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future and we can trust Him for His very best!
4th Sunday of Easter 4-29-07
When we come to Holy Communion to receive the Lord, it is also the Lord who receives us, hence “Communion.” In the Gospel we hear Jesus say, “There is no snatching my sheep out of my hand or the Fathers hand!” Let the Lord receive you in this Holy Eucharist.
3rd Sunday of Easter 4-22-07
Greek has four different words for LOVE. When we read the Gospel of this weekend in English we don’t really hear it as deeply as it is expressed in the Greek. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him and Peter replies “Yes” three times. But this is how it reads in the Greek:
Jesus- Peter, do you love (agape) me with a love that would die for me?
Peter- Yes, I love (philos) you with the love of a friend.
Jesus- Do you love (agape) me with a love that would die for me?
Peter- I love (philos) you as a friend.
Jesus- Do you love (philos) me with the love of friendship?
Peter- Yes, I love (philos) you as a friend.
Jesus- There will come a day when you will have to die for me (agape)
The Lord Jesus invites all of his followers to a complete and perfect love, a love that is built to last forever, the substance of heaven itself. If there is a choice of pleasing God or men, there is no choice.
Peter did in fact prove his love (agape) for God as he was crucified upside down on the Vatican hill. He is now buried directly under the Dome of Saint Peter’s Basilica but he resides in Heaven.
Divine Mercy Sunday 4-15-07
The Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday!
How should we prepare for this great Feast of Mercy?
Jesus told St. Faustina that this Feast of Mercy would be a very special day when “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened”. (Diary 699) Our Lord made a great promise to all those souls who would go to Confession and then receive Him in Holy Communion on the Feast of His Mercy, now called Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Catholic Church.
Jesus promised that “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”(Diary 699) He went on to say “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary 1109)
We want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this incredible promise and the additional Plenary Indulgence on this great Feast of Mercy “Divine Mercy Sunday”. We want you to benefit fully from these promises, and we also want you to notify all of your family and friends about them too and urge them to return to the practice of their faith!
The Image of The Divine Mercy, which Our Lord requested to be solemnly blessed and venerated on this day, will be on display in our church. Pope John Paul II said that the image portrays the Risen Jesus Christ bringing Mercy to the whole world. Our Lord said “I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish”. (Diary 341, 48) Please take the time to visit with this Image of The Divine Mercy and venerate Jesus.
Easter Sunday 4-8-07
“God, the Father of Mercies, through the death and resurrection of His Son, has reconciled the world to himself!” This is what Holy Week is all about!
Palm Sunday 4-1-07
For this week’s message, Please follow directions below:
1. Find a quiet place (you may need to go to church)
2. Find one hour (forget watching your regular back to back episodes of Three’s Company on TV)
3. Quietly rest in the Presence of the Lord and Listen to Him
4. Hold the message in your heart and/or write it down
5. Congratulations! You just heard God’s word!
5th Sunday in Lent 3-25-07
The Woman caught in the act of adultery received the full and complete forgiveness of the Lord. After declaring “I do not condemn you,” he finishes with, “Go, and from now on DO NOT SIN ANY MORE!” Whatever our sin or sins may be, the full forgiveness of the Lord is there for us, but we must also have a firm intention to avoid the sin in the future. If in weakness we return to the sin, we must again return to the Lord who is rich in mercy.
4th Sunday in Lent 3-18-07
When we hear of the “Prodigal” son we often think that it means the “lost” son. In reality, the word means extravagant, indulgent, or generous. The only way the son was prodigal was with himself. The parable could rightly be called “The Prodigal Father” since the Father ran out to his lost son with a robe, an expensive ring that initiated him back into the family, and most of all with a heart full of generous and forgiving love. It seems to be true that American society allows everything but forgives nothing while God does not allow any uncharitable act, yet forgives everything. Our God is completely prodigal with us!
I would like to formally congratulate the BCIG girls team and specifically our own Sacred Heart Girls, (in alphabetical order) Marissa Hare, Katie Hummelgard, Hannah Redenius and Barbara Rohlk for WINNING 2nd place at the Girls State Basketball tournament! Way to Go!
3rd Sunday in Lent 3-11-07
Like the fig tree in the Gospel, we all have many and varied chances to turn to the Lord. However, one day that time of mercy will cease. Be Ernest therefore, and repent!
2nd Sunday in Lent 3-4-07
We have a Deacon! I would like to extend my heartfelt and prayerful congratulations and joyous support to Mike Stover who is now our very own deacon. Thank you Mike for your diligence, study, prayer, patience, and service as you enter into this new way of life as a deacon, a way that you have already been living and demonstrating in unassuming service as our pastoral minister. I know I speak on behalf of the entire cluster when I say that our prayers and joyful support go out to you!
1st Sunday in Lent 2-25-07
“Remember Man you are dust and unto dust you shall return”
Lent Season began with Ash Wednesday on February 21st. As a reminder here are the Lenten Regulations for Abstinence and Fasting. Ash Wednesday is a day of fast and abstinence as well as Good Friday in Lent. This means that anyone 18 years or older to age 59, who are otherwise in good health should eat one full meal, with two lighter meals permitted during the day. The rule for abstinence applies to everyone over 14 years old and older are to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all the Fridays of Lent. This is especially true for the catechumens and candidates for Initiation. (This means those in RCIA)
Also during Lent each individual Catholic should resolve to engage in activities of prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and abstinence during these forty days. The celebration of Mass, sacramental reconciliation, generous assistance to the poor and religious/charitable causes should be a part of everyone’s Lent.
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2-18-07
Jesus said to his disciples: “To you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” In my opinion and lived experience, these words are some of the most challenging words in the entire teaching of Jesus. It is easy to feel close to the Lord when you are in a warm church with beautiful music playing as the sun shines through the stained glass windows. But how about when it gets back to you that someone is slandering you all over the town. You want to ring their dag nab neck! Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice, a choice to not retaliate but instead to respond as Jesus would with a blessing instead of a curse, with good deeds instead of fists of fury. Then we prove that we are truly sons and daughters of God. This is the kind of goodness and Godliness that lasts beyond this lifetime. This is the kind of character and personhood that we will carry with us into eternity!
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2-11-07
GENERATIONS OF FAITH
Both parishes of the cluster are in the process of deepening and expanding our religious education program. We are doing this through a process called GENERATONS OF FAITH. I introduced this concept about a year ago. You may recall that I taught that Generations of Faith is a lifelong (not just k-12) process for the entire parish community which is systematic (a series of orderly and regular teachings based on the four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which are- 1. The Creed 2. Sacraments 3. Morality 4. Prayer), cyclic, (Just when you thought you knew all the mysteries of theology, you find that there is yet more to learn and discover!), and continuous. This approach seeks to develop a “congregation of learners” where each person becomes to one degree or another both a teacher and a learner. Even if one feels that they know their faith well enough to NOT attend we most certainly invite them to come and share their knowledge!
In the past, the emphasis on religious education has always been that after 12th grade no more faith formation or learning is necessary. This is far from the truth! First, we can never exhaust the depths of knowledge of our Faith. Second, the way that our children best learn is not just from one teacher but from many facets and from an entire team. Those who have passed beyond 12th grade are VITAL in this process. Thirdly, when we adults are put in a situation of handing on the faith, it brings us to greater awareness and depth of knowledge of our faith. We learn through teaching! That is why it is so important that every person from every family register. We are all part of the Body of Christ with our own contribution. We don’t have it all together, but together we have it all! Please don’t deprive the community by absenting yourself form this beautiful way of faith formation.
This next week you will receive a mailing with a registration form and gift assessment survey. It is vital that you fill this out and return it so that we will know the count for meals, seating in groups, and take home materials.
Let us help each other grow in knowledge and love of God which in the end is the only thing that really matters. Thank You!
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2-4-07
YOU SAY GOD SAYS BIBLE VERSES You say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible (Luke 18:27) You say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30) You say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you (John 3:16 & John 3:34) You say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15) You say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps (Proverbs 3:5-6) You say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things (Philippians 4:13) You say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able (II Corinthians 9:8) You say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it (Roman 8:28 ) You say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I Forgive you (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1) You say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs (Philippians 4:19) You say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7) You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME (I Peter 5:7) You say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom (I Corinthians 1:30) You say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5)
4th Sunday in Ordinary Time 1-28-07
We have been rejoicing in the safe return of the two young kidnapped boys in Missouri with their families and their loved ones and all that made life normal again.
I believe that this joy and relief for them can also be ours! We have been liberated from the grip of sin and death by the Lord Jesus who “came to set prisoners free!”
Let us rejoice that the Lord has liberated us and that the Lord has never, and will never forsake us.
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time 1-21-07
Sometime ago I took a trip to Fort Dodge. I was almost depressed as I looked at the bare trees and brown grass. Then, it started to drizzle and rain. What a Downer! The next day I returned to a much different scene. During the night it froze and ended up with a beautiful coat of snow. As I looked at the once dreary and depressed trees, they now were laden with glistening and beautiful branches of ice. Indeed a marvel to behold! This is what happens to us. Without the Holy Spirit, we are like those dull and dreary trees, but with the anointing of the Holy Spirit of God, we become sparkling manifestations of God’s love.
2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 1-14-07
Let Jesus come into the ordinariness of your life and turn it into the finest wine. Where there is a need, there is his love and grace (charis) to transform, expand and divinize. As we are now in ordinary time let us remember that holiness does not consist so much in doing extraordinary things as it as it does in doing ordinary things with extraordinary faithfulness.
Epiphany of the Lord 1-7-07
Epiphany means to "SHINE LIGHT UPON" something, hence the first reading, Rise up in splendor Jerusalem! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. The star shed it's light upon the infant Jesus revealing him to the world as the true light of all peoples. There is a natural progression in the liturgies. We begin the Christmas season with the Birth of Christ. After Christ is born we celebrate the Holy Family. Since the Holy Family was there for the world, we celebrate Epiphany where Christ is revealed to the world. Finally, we will end the Christmas season at the Baptism of the Lord. Since we have been baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, we too are called to be "epiphanies" or manifestations of Christ to the world. When people look at you, do they see the Light of Christ?