Sunday, May 31, 2009

Joseph Was What???

We had a guest speaker the other day at our church, who gave a very moving lecture on Joseph and Mary.

Some of the discussion was reflection on their Holiness, and some of it was thinking about what life for them was like. (You know I love doing that)

I almost fell off my chair, though, when our speaker said "Well, you know Joseph was only about 16 right?"


The Earthly father of our Lord .... a teenager?

The strong carpenter I've seen in pictures - like the one in this post? A mere boy?

The blessed man who had the maturity to trust in God despite the "unique circumstances" around his wife? He was how young?


Like I said, I was blown away.

I'm not sure why I never thought about it, to be honest. Probably because every statue and picture of Joseph shows him as ... well, older.

I knew Mary was probably young. And it would make sense to assume Joseph was around the same age. But I never took time to think about it.

Shame on me.

I know 16 back then was a lot more mature than 16 is now. But it still magnifies how amazing Joesph's (and Mary's) faith was.

St. Joseph, thank you for saying "yes" to God. Please help us to have the great faith and trust that you had.

God bless.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Need Another Reason to Keep Blogging?

When I started this blog, I did so hoping that in some very small way I could help promote God's Kingdom in the digital world.

Our Holy Father apparently agrees. Check out this article at the CNA.

Pope Benedict XVI said "
I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!"

That's enough motivation for me! And to all of you that are much better at this than I am - keep up the great work!

God Bless all of you.

P.S. On that topic, I just recently signed up for Twitter. You can join me at @reachparadise or just read my recent "tweets" in the right hand corner of my blog. Hey, the Pope already beat me to YouTube ... I can't let him out-tweet me too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Missing Jesus

I was listening to Mark 2 on the Daily Audio Bible the other day, and was moved thinking about the hoards of people that tried to find their way to Jesus when he came into their town.

I have to admit, it's usually a fact that I just gloss over. Of course lots of people came to see Jesus ... ok what happened next? What did Jesus do. Get to the good stuff ....

But imagine what it was like back in those days. First of all, people got their news by word of mouth. No real-time announcements on the radio or postings on the internet. Sometimes the news was reliable - sometimes it wasn't. Sometimes it was timely - sometimes it wasn't. So I'm sure people were never quite sure when Jesus was going to be in their presence.

Likewise, many of them probably weren't quite sure who this Jesus was. They may have heard that he cured the sick, or preached to the learned. But I'm sure there was some skepticism on their part. Is he a magician? Is he a hoax? Is he holy? Can he really cure my cripple friend?

Transportation was a whole other issue. How did they get their sick and cripple to Him when he was miles away? No cars or ambulances. And not everyone had a mule or donkey. Mark 2:3 tells us they carried one man on a mat.

So can you picture the effort that went into these people trying to find Jesus? First, they had to receive timely and accurate news that Jesus was coming. Then they had to muster up the faith to go find him. If they were carrying a cripple friend, they had to walk a good distance - perhaps even to the next town - while holding a hundred and fifty pound person by the corner of a mat.

And if they actually found Jesus, they had to fight their way through thousands of people to even get close to Him.

But what if they missed Jesus? What if they went through all that and Jesus disappeared across the sea in a boat like he did in Mark 4:35.

I felt a great deal of sorrow as I thought about those people that missed Him. All that effort for naught.

My sorrow deepened as I pondered how many times I've missed Jesus in my everyday life.

Jesus, give us the strength and faith to keep looking for you in every part of our lives. And when our time here on Earth is done, please help us to find You in Heaven.

God Bless.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Unsung Hero

I just got done reading The Day Christ Died by Jim Bishop.

My goal was to have it done by Easter but, alas, I just couldn't read quick enough.

I have posted before about how I sometimes wish Gospel writers were historians so we had more detail about the life of Jesus. Well, in this book, Bishop combines a ton of historical research and Church teaching to paint every detail of Jesus' last day on Earth. It is very well written - so much so that there were times I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading a live account of what happened!

Needless to say, I highly recommend it.

But there was one paragraph at the end of the book that really moved me. Bishop tells the familiar story of how Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked if he could take Jesus' body to a tomb.

To me, that has always been a sidebar in the Passion. I never really took the time to reflect on what a brave thing Joseph really did. Bishop explains that while Joseph was an important member of the Sanhedrin, he was a secret follower of Jesus. By asking Pilate for Jesus' body, he "outed himself" and put himself in great danger.

That brave act becomes even more meaningful when you realize that it was Joseph - and not one of the 11 Apostles - that took the lead to care for our Savior's body. What love! What faith! What a great example for all of us.

God Bless.

Many Thanks To Booklady

A special thanks to Booklady for giving me my first ever Blog Award! I am honored to receive it, but even more honored that she enjoys my posts. Thanks again Booklady!

Apparently there are rules to accepting this award and they are:

1) Put the Lemonade Award logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.
3) Link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to the person from whom you received your award.

That being said, I am passing this award onto the following Blessed Blogs - in no particular order (note: descriptions of blogs are in my words, not the owner's)

1) Happy to be Catholic: A wonderful blog - I learn (and remember) so much by spending time here. Very well written to boot.

2) Charli and Me: The first word that comes to mind when I think of Carol's blog is "happy". Her posts mix the everyday with the Holy and never fail to make me smile.

3) My Catholic Oasis: Anne has such love for Christ, and her posts are so heartfelt, that she always inspires me.

4) Simply Catholic: Darcee posts her thoughts on daily life with a Catholic lens. I enjoy reflecting on her posts.

5) Happy Catholic: Julie's blog is very informative, and mixes fact, with photo, with humor.

6) OSV Daily Take: This is where I go to get my Catholic news fix. The team there does a great job of passing it on (and providing some great perspective on it)

Of course, I would add Booklady to that list as well. My list of Spiritual books to read grows exponentially thanks to her!

May God Bless all of you - keep spreading His word!