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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!

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2015 Lent Day 20

Today’s Readings

“You can’t handle the truth!!”  that’s the famous movie quote from A Few Good Men.

Jesus tells those in attendance at the synagogue in Nazereth what happens to prophets, that where they came from they are no longer welcomed!  It appears that Jesus is only telling them what they know.   We can acknowledge our own faults but we prey on those who point out our faults – because we can’t handle the truth!

Lord, teach us patience and help us understand ourselves better when someone points out the truth!!!

Why I am catholic…….confess to the “yes”

Have you ever seen the Jim Carrey film “Yes Man” ?  It’s a pretty good movie and if you like Jim Carrey, it is a very good movie.   Unknowingly (but now I know),  Jim Carrey was raised in the Roman Catholic church.   And as I reflect on that fact I look back at some of his films and that makes sense, well at least ” Bruce Almighty ” makes sense,  “Ace Ventura ” does not.   Well anyway, in “Yes Man” the basic premise is that he can not say no, only yes.

Another reflection is that of Mary when the angel Gabriel came to her to inform that she will bear a child.  Take notice how Gabriel phrases this (Luke 19)  “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”   A bit confused at first but what does she say?  “I am but the handmaiden of the Lord” , in laymans terms – Yes! .    God had to wait for her yes.   Why?   By the grace of free will God bestows on each and everyone of us.

Mary’s yes is the most famous “Yes” for all of us.   But what about Joseph?   Once Joseph found out that Mary was with child, he was very confused as well.  And after an angel came to him in a dream, he awoke and chose to say “yes” and continue with the plans to marry Mary.    It is clear to me that Joseph exercised his free will to chose.

I believe part of understanding the “yes” that Mary confessed is that she had the faith in God that God had faith in her to say “yes”.  Mary may not have understood why she said “yes” at the time.  But with prayer and patience the understanding and the fullness of her “yes” came clearer to her.

What can we learn from Mary’s “yes” ?  faith that the Big Guy upstairs has faith in us to choose the right path and the  patience to wait for it.  We are constantly in a hurry to get somewhere fast.  We want answers now.  We are not patient and are constantly trying to prove ourself to ourself.   I think back to when I was baptized around the age 14 or 15, I was “old”.   I wouldn’t say I was badgered by anyone to get baptized soon but I did feel the pressure all around me.  To me I just wasn’t in a hurry.  Today when I drive almost anywhere I am not usually in a hurry and unfortunately when I start a project at home, I am not in a hurry to complete the task!  But fortunately God has patience with us just like He did with Mary and Joseph and like the father in the parable of the prodigal son.  He waits for us. 

 He waits for our “yes”, patiently.

Other “Yes” men and women;

  1. The Twelve apostles who left their careers and families to follow Jesus.
  2. Paul – left a nice pension with the Roman army, converted to christianity and turned out to be a pretty good preacher and an “apostle to the gentiles”.
  3. Mathias – said “yes” to the apostles after they elected him to replace Judas in the group of twelve.   This process is still relevent today in the Church.
  4. Constantine – saying “yes” to christianity and for no longer outlawing it in the Roman Empire.
  5. St Justin Martyr – writing down the teachings from the apostles concerning the eucharist.
  6. St. Augustine – for saying yes to writing down the early works of the church on infant baptism, the eucharist, original sin and many more.
  7. Jozef (“Jef”) De Veuster – Saint Damien of Molokai.   Father Damien said yes to those in need.  He helped those with leprosy in the islands of Hawaii, when no one else would.
  8. St Frances Xavier Cabrini – she could not swim and was afraid of water yet she said yes to Pope Leo XIII and voyaged across the Atlantic to the United States.
  9. Charles Carroll – signer of the Declaration of Independence said “yes” to financial support to the war.  Later his cousin John Carroll would become the first Bishop in the United States and started Georgetown University.

I am sure there are many more you could add – so please do.

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