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Lent 2016……..steps

Put one foot in front of the other, you’re walking.  You’re moving forward.

Jesus did this.  He put one foot in front of the other and walked into the wilderness to be tempted.  Not to give into temptation but to overcome it.

Do you remember when the Devil tempted Jesus?  …I am waiting….. Okay – at the END of the forty days (and nights) the Devil tempted Jesus.  Only in His human nature when He was weak is when the Devil approached.  For some reason I never put two and two together, then on Sunday at yet another parish (in our quest to find where we should be) did I hear that “and when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

We are only approached by the Devil in our weakest moments.  That is when he can take advantage of us.  That is why we need to train like athletes, keep tuned up, stay in shape, keep strong in the faith.  By doing this we at least have fewer temptations and when they do appear we are more equipped to defeat him.

 

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2015 Easter Time

It always happens doesn’t it?  We are cruising along the highway of life.   Something happens,  a loved one falls ill,  an accident happens or a tragedy.   We don’t expect it, we can not foresee it and we never want it.   We have to adjust, adapt and move forward because there is not a rewind button.

The excitement of Holy Week rushed by.   And now I am finding myself standing in the pool of exhilaration like when you go down one of those big water slides!   It is Easter time!

Easter (FYI – the resurrection of Jesus) doesn’t end on Easter Sunday.   Jesus shows Himself multiple times to many different people (One of the many reasons that the christian faith is so strong is the fact that many people testified to this fact and not only was it recorded in many letters (aka the Bible), but it also had to be passed down, verbally, to many more friends and family.  Which makes up our deposit of faith.)   One of my favorites is on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24) when Jesus comes upon two men walking home from Jerusalem, three days after Jesus was crucified.   He walked and talked with them.   He explained to them why He had to be crucified.  They were amazed.   They wanted more.   Later that day as they were about to dine with Him  I think they were astute enough to ask Him to say a blessing before breaking the bread.   And Jesus “took the bread, blessed it, broke it and gave it to them” , their eyes were opened and then Jesus vanished.

This year during Easter time, let us be willing to open our eyes, our minds, our hearts and recognize Jesus in our lives.   Now Jesus can appear in many ways such as; movies, music, children, animals, scenery, sports, work or even old family pictures.   The funny thing is if you seek Him, you are more likely to find Him!

2015 Lent Day 39

We all have encountered those family moments of bliss, laughter, love, anger and regret.    And the fact that it can usually occur within a few short hours is what makes each family unique.

The Holy Family may have had the same family dynamics, but possibly with less anger.   Most certainly there was love, laughter and bliss.

We are nearing the end of lent, let us all hold ourfamlies up with our love, laughter and joy of each other.  Reach out with a phone call, email or even a text can make a difference today.   Go make a difference.

 

 

2015 Lent Day 38

Today’s Readings

Music is the universal language.   It breaks all barriers and can heal all wounds.   It is passionate, loving, joyful, soothing,  tingling and simply amazing.    Each area of the world makes, creates and is passionate about their music.  They are also willing to share when asked or when they are feeling anyone of those emotions.

Jesus sings a new song that we all should listen to and if you feel one of those emotions or you begin to dance then share it when someone asks you!

2015 Lent Day 31

Today’s Readings

It’s the first day of spring.  The sun is out, the flowers start blooming, grass is turning green and we have new hopes for the rest of the year.    We start to clean up the basement, garages, yards and begin painting or remodeling.   We plant new trees, flowers or gardens for the future.  We begin to get in shape, tone up, tan up (well not all of us, maybe freckle up).  In the words of Michael Bublé – “it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life and I feel good!”

The hour is coming when it will be a new dawn, a new day and a new life for all of us!   We do not know the hour but it will come.  Only thing we can do is do our best to be ready by living our lives according to His word.

2015 Lent Day 27

Today’s Readings

I was visiting with an elderly friend of mine recently.  We go to the same parish and the thought occurred to them that, since I am a convert, that I am more spiritual than they are.   I disagreed with them about that and mentioned that they regularly attend mass, are with their family consistently and do good in all other areas of life.   We started talking about what my wife and I teach for the Church and they said “see you are more spiritual”.   More knowledge is not spiritual and gut feelings is not more knowledgeable.   So because you can quote book, chapter and verse does not make you a more “spiritual” person, you are good at memorization.

The pharisees thought they were more spiritual than everyone else because they adhered to the law of Moses.   But then along comes Jesus and is present not to abolish the laws but to fulfill them.   And to the father who believes his child will be healed because Jesus told him so, that is spiritual.

2015 Lent Fourth Sunday

Today’s Readings

We always appreciate help when we don’t ask for it.   Sometimes the helper is overzealous and actually hinders the process, but we do like the help.

In today’s readings the blind man was not seeking out Jesus, unlike others that we have heard of before.   It was actually the disciples having a debate and asking for clarification with Jesus.  And the miracle begins, Jesus spits in the ground.   Now if I was blind and I heard, well you know the sound,  of someone spitting, I guess I might be concerned.   No, the blind man was not – maybe he was deaf as to what what was happening or actually, did not care.   And then Jesus applies a goop on your eyes, but you do not know it is actually Jesus – you may think it is just a disciple or some one else.   This is faith.  This is trust.

Then when the pharisees starts to question him, he starts to believe even more.  Then when Jesus asks him – he believes in Christ.

It may take some steps of faith for you to believe that Christ is effecting your sight or life.  Have patience and faith.

2015 Lent Third Sunday

Today we really begin to focus on those that are entering into the Church.  It is called the scrutinies, an examination of conscience, of preparing their hearts for baptism.   The reason is, like dating, take your time, make sure you make that connection of thought and feelings.   The Church does not want you to make a rash, spur of the moment decision.  Now there are occasions that this can occur (near death is the one that comes to mind).

Today’s Readings

We read of the woman at the well.   We all want everlasting water.   We all thirst for Christs love and attention.   The woman who came to the well was trying to escape the ridicule of the town, trying to escape.   We do that, we try to escape from our sins, not admitting that we had done them.   But if we would open our eyes and open our hearts, we may see that Jesus is sitting right next to us offering us “the water I shall give will become in him
a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

2015 Lent Day 15

Today’s Readings

Do you remember the names of the kids that found the Golden Ticket in the movie Willy Wonka?

The kids (characters) name were;

  • Mike Teevee – this kid loves television and wants to be a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy movie star!
  • Veruca Salt – well she wants everything, all the time, every time.  And Daddy wants what she wants all the time.
  • Augustus Gloop – loves chocolate and really a lot of other foods as well.
  • Violet Beauregarde – turns into a giant blueberry because she wants to keep up with the latest and greatest gadgets.
  • Charlie Bucket – our unlikely hero, stumbles and becomes our hero.

I was reminded of this movie by today’s readings.  Here we have the mother of Zebedee (James and John) asking Jesus for a small favor.   Every mother wants the best for her children, regardless of the task.  Some mothers, the hovering type, like to be right up front and do it for their children.  We have all seen this haven’t we?  The mother who does every component of the homework for the child and lets them sign their own name and is naturally upset at the teacher when she (the mother) doesn’t receive an “A”.   We see children pushed into classes and sports that they “grow” into.    When the time comes these same children will always do whatever their mother wants them to do.   I am not saying James and John were not faithful to Jesus and not true believers,  but we do know that they had an overbearing mother! (Back to Willa Wonka – like Veruca’s father!)

Jesus simply replies with a “Yeah – No”,  “You do not know what you are asking”

We do that – we do not know what we are asking at times.   And in order for us we need to prepare ourselves for that day by searching, keep learning, keep listening and open up hearts to Jesus.  Like Charlie, when we stumble, let us turn back and confess our sin.

 

2015 Lent Day 13

Today’s Readings

I love watching my wife cook.  She carefully measures out each ingredient, double checks the recipe, then sometimes measures it out again.  Other times she will “wing it” and put in heaping teaspoons or tablespoons of ingredients!  She will make sure that all guests that we have over will have heaping plates as well, no one leaves hungry! (we have even packed some goodies up for guests to take with them).

We are not left guessing what may await us.  Jesus is pretty clear here – “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down and overflowing..”
Do not mistakenly take this as financial advice, because “Give” not only means dollars and cents but “Give” also means – of your time, of your ears, of your mind.

Today – Give someone your;  – ear and listen to their troubles without inserting your troubles ,  – your heart and have sympathy for them, – your tears and cry with them,  – your two hands and help them with their flat tire.

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