Sunday, September 29, 2013

Biking through time and faith... Follow me through Spain on the Camino!

I will depart on the Camino from Salamanca to Santiago de Campostella on 6 October.  Perhaps a prayer or two for a couple of dear intentions I carry in my heart.  Both are for wellness of some sick people in my company of fiends.  I will be biking about 270 miles with a few parishioners well younger than me.   If you want to follow, send me your email and I will link you t daily updates compliments of Garmin Connect.  BTW, if you want to at least see a version of what I will be doing...check out the movie "The Way"...Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez etc...

Pray for me as I do you.


I see this in you! An older post...

In the 70's Rock Opera "Tommy", written and performed by The Who, one of the final songs was titled "See Me, Feel Me". The opening lyrics were  "See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Heal Me".  Might seem a bit simple or even juvenile but isn't this the call that any God-loving Christian is called to respond to? I find that at then end of the parable of the "dishonest steward", Jesus is challenging his follower to be as vigilant as the dishonest steward but utilizing integrity and kindness to minister to those who call out.

This is another one of those parables that at first look seems to have Jesus commending a dishonest person.  What he is commending is the creativity, in that the dishonest steward was able to make amends to his employer and still allow those in debt a little room to possibly get out of their debt.  Jesus then uses the comparison that if only his followers, the children of light would be as ambitious but through integrity and honesty, they would be the disciples that he is trying to form.  Obviously the dishonest steward did posses some gifts that had the potential of being used for the good.

All of us are given gifts in which to proclaim Christ in our Midst.  Many times we only need to discern them via invitation or through prayer.  How often do we see something good in a person and invite them to utilize that gift to build up the kingdom?  Sometimes we see the gifts in others and are either jealous are envois of them, without acknowledging our own God-given gifts.  Sometimes we think we have certain gifts but through a process of discernment find that it was just wishful thinking?  Regardless of our gifts, we are called to use them humbly to serve Christ, especially Christ dwelling in the poor, sick, scared, marginalized.  As our Eucharistic Prayer says of us “giving thanks that you have held us worthy to be in your presence and minister to you.”  Through our many gifts we first and foremost utilize them to minister to Christ. 

If we could be as vigilant as was the dishonest steward, using integrity and love of the other,  think about how much good we can do!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Its about joy! The Sacrifice at Mass leads to new life in Christ!

Each year we hear the parable of the prodigal son.  I dare say we all know the message…”God loves the repentant sinner”  This year I will not preach on it as hearing it says perhaps more than I could say.  I wish to invite us to think about the result….the great joy that being forgiven brings!  When we are right with God, we can clearly see God’s goodness in ourselves.  We can clearly see our gifts and talents and without the burden of sin, utilize them for the good of all. Recognizing this change from darkness to light, embracing it and enjoying the newness of life can set a rule for our own behaviors and keep us on the right track.  We all say that we develop bad habits through repetition….we remember and repeat.  What about the joy of knowing we are forgiven and made new….we can also remember and repeat.  To strive by allowing the joy of being forgiven to be remembered and used as a tool to stay strong.  Memory is very powerful.

God never wants to hate, but always wants to heal!  God wants to lead us out of bondage, as God led the people out of Egypt. This is done at every mass.

The Mass allows us each week to recognize our goodness, and to allow it to help us in the days ahead.  If we can embrace the mass as our communal prayer; be giving thanks and experiencing the joy of God wanting us as God’s own, there is something to strive for.  Where are the moments of goodness that can lead to joy in the mass?  After recognizing our sins in the beginning we ask God for mercy and forgiveness.  God does not refuse.  A moment of goodness via mercy to cause great joy!  The sacrifice we make to let go of our sins, is followed by great joy.  As is the mass.  We first enter into the sacrifice of Jesus in His passion, that part of the Eucharistic Prayer when we enter the last supper and ear the words….”for the forgiveness of sins.  Do this in memory of me.”   What then follows with the raising of the gifts in the great doxology is the joy of the resurrection. The joy of being found by the good shepherd, the joy of finding the goodness symbolized by the lost coin, and of course the joy and celebration that completes the story of the prodigal son…  The mass teaches us that once being reconciled with God, we are equipped to do great things.  Better care for our children, being peacemakers in our world, better stewards of the precious gift of life both unborn and born, and stewards of the world we share by our service to others.  This is the joy that Christ brings.  God sends us out to do the same.

So today at communion, in the few moments after receiving, take a moment to reflect on the gift of Eucharist that calls us into union with Christ and each other.  Take a moment to reflect on the wonderful gifts that each of us has been given, and how to joyfully utilize them to bring joy to others, the lost sheep, the joy of reclaiming lost joy as the women finding the lost coin, and the return of lost women and men who seek the joy and abundance of God’s kingdom.   Then offer them as a commitment in our song of praise, fully prepared to be sent by God to live the gospel.  Let's share our joy by bringing joy to others!