Saturday, August 29, 2009

What If ....

Imagine your priest was killed right before your eyes at Mass.

Now imagine the murderer turned to the congregation and asked if anyone else would like to continue the mass ... and suffer the same fate?

What would you do?


I've been thinking a lot about Peter and the Apostles this week, and how scary Jesus' final days on Earth must have been for them.

And my stream of consciousness led me to the following question ....

What if they just went back to living life the way they did before Jesus?

After all, look at their choices.

Go forth into a hostile world that hates them, will most likely torture them, and will eventually kill them
Spend their mornings on a fishing boat and evenings having dinner with their wife and kids.

Of course on paper 2000 years later it's an easy choice. But I really thought hard about the magnitude of that decision back then.

They had just seen Jesus publicly embarrassed, tortured beyond human comprehension, and left to die in a horrendous fashion. To follow in his footsteps would mean the same for them.

And yet they did.

It would have been so easy to just go back to the simple life they were leading. To leave the whole "promoting-the-Kingdom" thing for the next generation to worry about. To assume God would just send someone else to finish the job.

But they didn't.

Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, and without their Leader physically with them, they looked death straight in the eyes and changed history.

I am in such awe of them, and so very, very grateful to them. It is because of their strength that we have the Gospels and teachings that can get us to Paradise.

God Bless.


As I write this post from the comfort of my home, I imagine what kind of strength it would take to give that up, walk into town, and start preaching the Word of God to a square full of people that did not want me there. As daunting as that sounds, I imagine what kind of strength it would take to walk to the next town of angry people and do the same. And the next town. And the next...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It ALL Matters

I'm hooked on the song History by Matthew West.

If you haven't heard it, you can listen to it free here (in the upper right corner of the screen there is a mini player - just hit the big play button).

I like it for the melody, but also because of the wonderful message Matthew gives us.

The chorus ...

Yesterday is history
And history is miles away

So leave it all behind you

Let it always remind you of the day

The day that love made history

... reminds us that no matter what mistakes we have made in the past ... no matter how many times we have turned our back on God ... we can put it behind us because of what Jesus did for us.

That really is a comforting thought.

It's also something we should never, ever forget.

But the song intertwines another beautiful message regarding "history". One of the refrains is as follows:

Every word that you are saying
Every prayer that you are praying

Every chain that you are breaking

History is in the making

In other words, everything we do matters. We are making history every day. Maybe not like Jesus did, but in our own little way.

Every time you pass on the Word to someone, you can change their perspective.
Every good deed or act of charity can alter a life. And every prayer we offer up for someone - or some soul - can change their future - here or in Paradise.

It all matters.

And on that note, I wanted to thank all of you that read this blog or host your own. From a post or picture that brightens my day, to a new prayer or spiritual reflection that feeds my soul ... you are helping to shape my history.

God Bless all of you.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Wondering

Happy Feast of the Assumption everyone!

I have to admit, I thought long and hard about what to write today. After all, there are just so many things to say about our Blessed Mother.

I went back and read one of my older posts on proof the Assumption happened.

I thought about Her amazing faith in our Father.

I pondered how she found the strength to watch her Son go through what He did for us.

But mostly, I wondered.

I wondered what it was like on that glorious day. Most of the time when I think about the Assumption I think of the physical raising of Mary's body into Heaven. What was that really like? Was she carried away by angels? Did she float up on a cloud? Did it happen during the day or at night?

But Happy to Be Catholic gave me a whole new perspective in her comments on my last post.

She noted how wonderful it must have been for Mary to meet our Father for the first time! I have to admit, I never thought about it like that! Mary is such an important figure in our faith that sometimes I forget she only met God after her time here on Earth.

HC also stated how happy Mary must have been to see her Son again! Again, I had never really looked at the Assumption through Mary's eyes. Of course she must have been overwhelmed with joy be reunited with Jesus after all the suffering they went through here on Earth.

And of course, everyone in Heaven must have rejoiced to finally have Mary join them in Paradise.

What a beautiful day it must have been.

Mary, please pray for us.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Five and Two

Last weekends Gospel reading (John 6:1-15) is about one of Jesus' most famous miracles - the Miracle of the Loaves and Fish.

If I could have seen one miracle - aside from The Resurrection of course - this would have been it. It is the miracle that has always left me most curious.

Don't get me wrong, all of Jesus' miracles were wondrous. But I would love to know the details on this one. How did the loaves multiply? Was it when immediately after He blessed them? Did he break a piece of bread off, only to have it regenerate then and there? Or was the basket covered and every time He reached in a new loaf was ready for Him?

Some of His other miracles are easier to imagine. The raising of the dead: the person "simply" wakes up and comes back to life. Giving sight to the blind: They can immediately see again. The changing of the water to wine: the water is covered in a jug so no one can "see" the transformation take place.

I guess the Loaves and Fish has always been a wonder to me because it doesn't seem to be an instantaneous thing. John doesn't tell us that the five loaves instantly turned to five hundred. He just says Jesus kept passing them out until everyone was fed. Its the gradualness that peaks my curiosity.

Anyway, please don't take this post as a lack of belief! It is quite the opposite. I have great faith that all of Jesus' miracles happened.

This one just happens to put my human curiosity into overdrive.

So what miracle would you choose to watch if given the chance?