Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Hangover

There is quite a letdown after Christmas, isn't there?

The adrenaline of the holiday rush has worn off.

Family and friends go their separate ways.

The radio stations stop playing joyous Christmas music.

The sparkling and twinkling decorations start to come down.

The cleaning is endless.

It's easy to get caught up in the Christmas hangover ... I know I do.

But ironically, the days after the first Christmas were filled with joy, hope and wonder.  After all, it was from that day on that our Salvation became real for us.  

Said another way, the birth of Christ was just the beginning of our eternal life, not the end of a commercial holiday season!

So yes, I still get caught up in the Christmas hangover.  But now I use it as a barometer to measure how far off my perspective is.

The more "hungover" I am, the farther off base I am from what the Season really means.

Here's to a year filled with love, peace and Christ.  May this one be your most Holy yet.

God Bless you.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

What Was it Really Like?

I spent a lot of time this week wondering what that first Nativity scene was really like.
And after a lot of research, here are some interesting perspectives on that miraculous day.

1)  The birth of Christ probably did not happen in December.   

Luke's account alone helps us figure that out.  He writes about the angel appearing to shepherds "keeping watch over their flocks at night".  History tells us that December nights were pretty cold, and shepherds did not keep watch at night much past September.  

Scholars also think it would have been odd for the Romans to require travel for census during the winter months.  They most likely would have done it before the winter, but after the fall harvest.  That would narrow the timing down to late September or early October.

2)  We don't know when Mary and Joseph arrived in Bethlehem.  

Luke simply tells us that "while they were [in Bethlehem] the time came for the baby to be born.  So the scene in the movie The Nativity Story, where Mary is in labor upon entering Bethlehem may or may not be true.   

3)  It's quite possible Joseph stayed with relatives in Bethlehem, and did not go looking for space in an inn.

The word that Luke uses, kataluma, was originally translated to mean "inn".  But many scholars have since indicated the word means "a place where a traveler would sleep or stay".  Back in those days, that usually meant an extra space or room in a house.  

Perhaps because of the census, the usual guest rooms/spots in Joseph's relative's house were taken or being used by elders.  Or perhaps Joseph and Mary wanted some privacy and opted for more a private, albeit, unusual place.

4)  Our Savior was born in a manger, but probably not in the stereotypical wood structure.  And maybe not even in the storied cave-like structure.

Luke tells us Jesus was born in a manger.  And pretty much everyone agrees this meant a feeding trough of some kind.  (Although there are some that believe this type of structure was made of stone versus wood back in those days.)  

It is important to note that many homes in Bethlehem in those days were split into two floors.  The family lived on the upper floor, and the animals were relegated to the lower floor.  Not only did that keep the animals protected, but in the colder months, the heat they generated would keep the family above warm.   

It is in that lower area that the manger would have been located.  Which means it's possible our Lord was born in a house.  

That being said, scholars do think that some "lower levels" were actually built into caves in that area, so it is possible the manger was located in a cave-like structure.

5)  Shepherds were pretty low on the social totem-pole, but were the first to visit and spread the word of our Savior's birth.

I don't know about you, but I had this romanticized image of shepherds based on nativity statues.  Young, clean cut men with a snow white sheep hung tenderly around their neck and a perfectly carved staff in hand.  

Not so.

Shepherds in those days were not trusted.  They were unclean (spiritually and physically).  They smelled.  They were poor.  They were low class.

And yet, these are the people that God chose to be the unlikely first visitors.  Just as He chose a poor child to bring us salvation, He chose the lowest of society to be the first messengers.

6)  The magi (however many there were) did not arrive the night of Jesus' birth.

First things first, nowhere in the bible does it mention how many magi there were.  Because Matthew mentions the three gifts, common storytelling mirrors that with three wise men.  But we don't know that for sure.

Second, most experts believe that the magi did not arrive until after Jesus was presented in the temple.  There are clues in scripture that could support that conclusion, including Herod calling Jesus a child (not baby) after speaking to the magi, Herod killing children up to 2 years old instead of newborns, and the fact that Matthew tells us they visited Jesus in a house, versus the manger.  

Does any of this change the importance of Christmas?  

Of course not.  

But it is fun to wonder what that magical day was really like...

God Bless you as we enter this final week of Advent. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Gift

I wonder if God holds each new day in His loving, caring hands...
Caressing it as only a Creator could...
Staring adoringly at it as only a loving Father could...
Excited as only the ultimate Giver could be.

I wonder if His Heart is overflowing with love as He prepares it for us...

If His mind is full of great anticipation as He sends such a beautiful gift to us each morning.

Does He wonder what beautiful things we will do with it?
What glorious things we will say about it?
How many times we will thank Him for it?

I wonder if we break His heart when we toss it aside.

If we make Him sad as we
Fill it with trivial things...
Miss the beauty in it ...
Forget to thank Him...
and take it for granted yet again.

(This post was inspired by Victor's at the Community of Catholic Bloggers.)

God Bless.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Let's Jump Back 2000+ Years ...

You've been told that in just 21 days, the the Lord is coming in human form, to dwell among us.

How would you prepare?

How would you find Him?

What would you wear?  Your best outfit to show respect?  Or your most mundane one to show Him that material things don't matter?

What would you bring?  Would a gift fit for a baby be insulting to one that is also God?

What would you do when you got there?  Would you cry?  Dance? Would you be speechless?  Would you ramble on, wondering if a baby that is also a Deity could understand you?

How long would you stay?  Just a few minutes out of respect?  Or as long as you possibly could, since anywhere else you could go would pale in comparison?

Needless to say, we would all probably think long and hard about how we would get ready for such a day.

Now imagine you were about to become His Earthly parent ...

How in the world do you even begin to prepare for that?

This Advent season, as we prepare for the coming of our Savior, let us not forget the commitment Mary and Joseph made when they said "yes" to God.  And I pray the Holy Spirit gives us the strength to do the same.  

God Bless.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sometimes Posts Just Write Themselves

The word Eucharist, in Greek, means Thanksgiving.
A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all of you and your families.

God Bless.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Amen I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.   
Mt. 25:45

It was a weekday evening and I was at Penn station in NY waiting for a train home from a conference. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a woman holding a styrofoam cup shuffling from person to person.  While I couldn't yet hear her, I knew she was asking folks for money.  

And she was headed my way...

Now for those of you that do not know Manhattan well - I'll interrupt this story with some background.  Like any large city, it has its share of poor people.  Very poor people.  But it also has its share of people who pretend to be poor to get an easy couple of bucks.  Like this guy.  

And it is this latter group who have made me wary of wandering beggars.  So I tend to donate to places I know help truly poor people, rather than risk getting played like a fool.
Ok, back to the story at hand ...

Not knowing if the oncoming beggar was a phoney or not, I quickly put my headphones in my ears and started looking intently at my phone.   

"Sir, do you have any money to spare?" 

I ignored her, hoping she would move on to the next person. 

"Sir?  Sir?  I just want to eat tonight..." 

I stared even more intently at my phone, as she gave up and moved onto the next person. 

Shuffle ... shuffle ... "Ma'am? Can you spare any change?" 

Crisis averted.  Although anyone watching from afar must have been aghast at the scene they had just witnessed.  The iPod I faked listening to, the phone I pretended to tap away on, and the computer strewn over my shoulder, could have paid for this woman's meals for months.

I glanced up for a second to see a woman near me deposit a dollar into the cup.  

"Thank you ma'am.  Thank you so much.  May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you.  May He always bless you." 

With that, the beggar started shuffling away ... probably onto her next "victim".   She paused for a moment to turn back and shake her head in my direction.

I saw Jesus right then and there in that woman.  

Trust me, as bad as it is to know the Lord is upset with you, it is ten times worse to actually see it.

God Bless you.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.

Paul's words today remind me of a homily I heard the other day about death and heaven.

The priest talked about our fear of death and asked for perspective.

Our lives here on Earth are gifts, of course.  But this world is full of pain, sorrow, and sin.   

Heaven, on the other hand, is perfection.  It is love.  It is beautiful.  It is Paradise.

And yet most of us have one foot, if not both feet, planted firmly here.  Worrying.  Scared of leaving.  Afraid of death.


Because we are human, yes.  But mainly because deep down we know we have not followed Paul's reminder to its fullest.   

We prepare for presentations at work.  We prepare our meals for the week.  We spend countless hours preparing for parties and celebrations.

But we are often remiss when it comes to being fully prepared for our Lord.  We are half sleeping. Otherwise we would all be talking about how we couldn't wait to move on.

I paraphrased most of that, of course.  The priest was much more eloquent.  

I just wish it didn't feel like he was looking at me the whole time he spoke ...

God Bless.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Or I Could Pray Instead

And the one poor child that saved this world,  
And there's ten million more that probably could,
If we all just stopped and said a prayer for them.
                   - Better Days, Goo Goo Dolls

Ok, not the first band or song that comes to mind when you think about spiritual inspiration.  But the other day, in an odd moment when my radio was not tuned in to the Christian Rock channel, this song came on and those lyrics echoed in my head.

I wondered how many things I could change if I said one more prayer a week.  

One more a day.

One more an hour.

The world usually thinks about "change" in terms of money.  Your $50 can help the parish support its retired priests.  $10 can feed the homeless for a week.  Just one dollar can get a child in Africa the medicine he or she needs.

Which inevitably leads to a tug-of-war in my head.  Did I give enough to charity this week?  How many kids could I have fed with the $4 I just spent on that latte?  Who suffered because I didn't donate that one extra dollar?

Well, those song lyrics added a whole new dimension to the game.  While we are all limited financially in how much we can give, the only true barriers to prayer are dedication and time.  

What if I said one more prayer instead of surfing the net?  Instead of watching that football game?  Instead of arguing with someone?  

How many people could I help that way?

How many souls?

God Bless.

P.S.  Just to show you I'm a man of action, instead of proofreading this post, I said I prayer for all of you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

How Steve Jobs Made Me a Better Catholic

An odd topic, I know.

But as I read all the articles this week about how Steve Jobs changed the face of music, entertainment, and personal electronics, it dawned on me that he and his products had a profound effect on my religious life. 

For example, because of the iPod, I can carry around thousands of religious songs in my pocket and listen to them whenever I want.  Walks are no longer silent, train rides no longer require me to listen to my neighbors, and plane rides are filled with musical praise.

Thanks to iTunes, I can download podcasts like the Daily Audio Bible and listen to them while driving, doing housework, or pretty much whenever I want to be filled with the Word of God.  I can also stream religious radio stations from around the country right to my desk.

And because the iPhone made apps commonplace, I can get  bible verses, daily mass times, the rosary, and Catholic TV all with the touch of a finger, filling any empty pause in my life with a dose of religion.

I have to admit, I never stopped to think about this until reading all the tributes this week.  

But as article after article touted Mr. Jobs for filling our world with 24/7 entertainment and satisfaction, I realized that he helped me fill mine with God.

So thank you, Steve.

May your soul rest in peace.

God Bless.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


The answer Jesus gives the Pharisees in today's Gospel is nothing short of awesome. 

"Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and to God what belongs to God." 

What an answer!

Every time I think about how I would have stammered and stuttered trying to answer that pop quiz, I grow more in awe of Christ.

I mean, he totally slays them.  It is such a perfect answer to an imperfect question.  Even Matthew tells us the Pharisees were "amazed". 

But this year, I saw this answer in an even greater light.  

The first part of His answer was easy.  People continued giving taxes to Caesar.  But not too long after that, Jesus showed us what the second part of His answer meant...

He gave His Body and Soul back to His Father on the cross - ironically asking Him to forgive those who our Savior had admonished just days earlier.  


God Bless you.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

So THAT'S Why the King was so Mad

I have to admit, I never quite understood why the King in today's Gospel reading was so mad.  

Dont' get me wrong, I understood the point of the story, and the parallels to the Jews and Gentiles.  

But the way I saw it, the King dragged these poor people off the street.  How could he possibly expect them to have appropriate wedding attire?  Wasn't he overreacting just a bit?

However, today I learned that in those days, it was customary for the King to provide wedding garments for his guests.   

And that is why he was so insulted.

He invited them to a lavish party that they never deserved to be invited to, offered them entertainment they could get nowhere else, and unlimited food and wine to fill themselves with.

All they had to do was put on the clothes he gave them.

Instead, one gentleman felt like his own, unclean clothes were appropriate.  And he was immediately deemed 'persona non grata'.

The parallels to God and His guests today are obvious, and since others will do a better job of writing about such things, I won't belabor them here.

But I do now realize I can no longer walk around in my own Charlie Brown Halloween costume and keep calling myself Holy*.

God Bless you.

*Ok, ok,  I'll leave the jokes to Victor from now on. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Life Went On

I remember Jim Bishop, in his book The Day Christ Died, wrote that as our Savior died for us on that cross, most people carried on with their everyday lives. 

It's an image that haunts me to this very day.

Ironically, though, I never applied the same thinking to the day He was born.  

Until I came across this 20ft x 10ft nativity scene at a church I visited last week... 

I don't know how well the whole scene will show up (it was pretty dark in the church), but that is the Holy Family in the center near the columns.  

What stopped me dead in my tracks though - and echoed images of Bishop's Good Friday - was the scene in the lower right...

That is a family eating pasta and enjoying themselves - a mere 50 steps from Jesus!

A realistic depiction of that day?  

I don't know.  

But it's probably safe to assume most people went on with their daily lives, oblivious to the Lord in their presence.

Kind of like 2011 ...

God Bless.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are We Longing?

St. Paul said to the Philippians in today's second reading (Phil 1:23):

I long to depart this life and be with Christ, for that is far better.

I almost skimmed past that statement without really thinking about it.

Are we really longing to depart this life?

Are we really?

Then what are we collecting all this stuff for?  

Why are we worrying about all the things we worry about?

Why aren't we spending our time differently?* 

Of course, I want to be in Heaven with Jesus as much as you do.  But if aliens came down from outer space and looked at my life, there is no way they would say I was "longing to depart this life."

Not by a long shot. 

God Bless you.

*  Now that I am an honorary author over at the Community of Catholic Bloggers, I thought it would be fun to do two posts on the same topic.  So click over to my post there to see the mathematical equation St. Paul inspired me to create ....  then read the posts from the other authors for some actual good content ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Perspective: Forgiveness

Two weeks ago someone rear-ended my car.  Nothing bad, just a few scratches.  But the woman was texting or talking on the phone instead of paying attention, so I was steaming mad when it happened.  I held a grudge for a good week until I finally forgave her.

A month ago someone tried to derail my project at work by fudging data. I was angry at him for days before I finally forgave him.

Ten years ago today, a group of terrorists killed thousands of innocent people here in the United States.  Even though I was not physically affected, there is still anger in my heart, and I'm not quite sure I have completely forgiven them to this day.

But two thousand years ago, a loving, innocent, Holy man by the name of Jesus was hunted, beaten, mocked, embarrassed in front of his loved ones, nailed to pieces of wood and left to die.

And he forgave them while it was happening .... 

God Bless you, and prayers for those souls and families affected by the horrible events of 9/11. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


What a week for us Northeasterners!

First a 5.8 earthquake came out of nowhere and shook the very ground we walked on.

Then, we were battered with Hurricane Irene - the worst storm we have seen in 25 years.

Both events got me thinking a lot about preparation. 

We had no warning an earthquake was coming our way.  It just happened.  There was no time to prepare, and most people did not know the proper procedure for staying safe.

By contrast, we all knew the hurricane was coming.  It had been front page news ever since Irene set her sights on the eastern seaboard.  That gave everyone two to three days to get ready.  

And yet, despite that heads up, many people were unable to get the extra bottled water they were advised to get, the backup generators they wanted, or the D batteries most flashlights need.  It still was not enough time to get ready.  

And therein was a lesson.

Preparation needs to start well before the test. 

Like these natural disasters, someday our judgement day will come.  It might come unexpectedly like the earthquake.  Or we might get a small warning like with the hurricane. 

But the truth is, we should be preparing now.    

Prayers for everyone affected by the events this week ... 

God Bless you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

True or False?

Circle one for each.

True or False:  Jesus, in today's Gospel (Mt. 15:21-28), is not being sarcastic or mean. He is assessing and unveiling the great faith of a woman.

True or False: Jesus made her ask for help three times to gauge her conviction.

True or False: One lesson we can take from this is that the Lord is always testing our faith and love in Him.

True or False: Another lesson we can take from this is that we need to trust in God, even when we are not given what we want immediately. 

Extra Credit:  Show the parallels between the test in today's Gospel and the crosses we carry every day in our lives.  Explain how you will change your behavior accordingly. 

You will have the remainder of your life to finish this test.

(Unfortunately a woman from Canaan has set the curve.) 

God Bless you.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Eddie Money and Today's Gospel

Well if I could walk on water
And if I could find some way to prove
If I could walk on water would you believe in me
My love is so true
          - Walk on Water by Eddie Money

In today's Gospel (Mt 14:22-33) Jesus calls Peter to walk on the water to Him.  

We all know what happened.  Peter tried, become frightened, and called for Jesus to save him.

Like the song, Peter's love for our Lord is strong, and he is always looking to prove that to Him.

But unlike Mr. Money, Peter didn't have to walk on water to get Our Savior to believe in him.  He just had to trust Him completely.  

Ironically almost every homily I have ever heard on this Gospel focuses on Peter's fall.  His flailing and disbelief.  The fact that he needed Jesus to reach out and save him as usual.  

And while all this is true, and a great lesson in itself, I think it misses one of the most powerful parts of this story.

He actually walked on water for a few steps while he believed. 

I wonder how much more could we do if we fully turned everything over to the Lord and just trusted in Him?

God Bless you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mercies in Disguise

 "And what if trials of this life
Are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win

We know the pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home

Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?

What if my greatest disappointments

Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst
This world can’t satisfy?"

                         - Blessings by Laura Story

This is one of my favorite songs on Christian radio right now.  

It's message is such an important one.  We just don't know everything about God's plan.  And all those unanswered prayers, the pains, the sufferings .. they just might be part of a bigger plan.

A better plan.

Yes, it takes a good dose of faith to believe that.

But it does help when the message it attached to a beautiful song like this.

God Bless.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


When I was a kid I used to love those white puffy dandelions. 

Technically they are a weed, but to me they were pure magic. 

I used to love picking them out of the ground, blowing their seeds all over the lawn, and waiting for those yellow flowers to pop up everywhere.  Amazing! 

How a white puffy weed could turn into dozens of yellow flowers was beyond my comprehension at that age.  It ranked right up there with caterpillars turning into butterflies.  

Anyway, I thought about those puffy white weeds after hearing today's Gospel (Mt. 13:24).  

I've always loved the parable of the wheat and weeds.  It's such a clear explanation of why God does not rip out all the "weeds" of our society right now so that the world can be a better place.  He does not want to pull out the good with the bad, Jesus tells us. 

But I think there is another reason as well.  

It's because He is always ready to give us a second chance.  

After all, sometimes those weeds can turn into flowers.

God Bless you.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Miracle and The Power of Prayer

I just got finished reading Heaven is For Real - a wonderful story about a 4-year-old's 3-minute visit to Heaven.  Todd Burpo, the child's father, decided he needed to tell his son's miracle to the world. 

After reading it, I realized I've been remiss in telling all of you about a miracle that happened to a woman I know.  I've changed the names, but the following story is exactly as she emaied it - emphasis, scripture and all.   For what it is worth, she is a very spiritual person.  He, as far as I know, wasn't.  Hopefully that will change!

In any case, it's a beautiful example of the power of prayer.

God Bless.


Jill's Story 

My husband Bob is a healthy 44 year old runner and on Wednesday while driving home from work, and with zero risk factors, he had a stroke.  I started praying immediately.  In the ER were shocked to find Bob slumped to over to the left side, his mouth and face drooping, speech barely coherent, entire left side of his body numb and cold, his eyes darting back and forth, and he was vomiting profusely.  Things looked very bad.

The Neurologist advised administering tPA, a risky heavy duty clot busting drug which has the frightening side effect of causing 7% of patients to bleed to death.  I started praying harder.  Our young daughters prayed along silently while I laid my hands on Bob’s head and began to pray out loud saying “Jesus you told us that where two or three are gathered in your name, you are there in their midst.  (Matthew 18:20)  We ask you to bless and fully heal Bob and our family.  We KNOW and BELIEVE you can do it….”  I continued to ask Jesus, the Holy Spirit and our Father to heal Bob and then I began a litany of Catholic Christian Prayers, again returning to conversation with the Trinity.  The doctor stood by and watched as I prayed, but did NOT administer any medication.

After a few minutes, quite abruptly, Bob stopped vomiting and very CLEARLY started speaking and saying “Wait a minute!  Did you just put something into my RIGHT hand?!”  The doctor said “No”.  Bob sat up a little taller, and within 30 seconds said:  “I felt something warm go into my RIGHT hand and spread up my arm.  It felt like a cozy, warm bath….except it was INSIDE my body instead of outside.  It started washing down over my torso and into my right leg.  It didn’t follow any pathway - it just washed over me.  But it felt like there was a partition down the center of my body – like it was divided in half – my left side was numb and cold.  And all of a sudden it felt like someone opened a faucet and this incredible warm sensation moved immediately - all at one time - into my left side – even in my legs – it was like the warmth bridged from my right leg over to my entire left leg in one motion.  The room stopped spinning and my feeling has come back.  The only thing I feel is a little tingling in my left hand.”  Remember…Bob had received NO medication at this point!

The Neurologist was quite surprised and re-examined Bob – every symptom was gone.  The doctor determined that it must not have been a stroke after all, it must have been a TIA/mini stroke.  However, an MRI confirmed that Bob DID indeed have a full stroke.  So what happened?  Isaiah 41:13 says:  “For I am the Lord, your God, who grasp your RIGHT hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.”

Bob has some tingling in his left hand and his gait is slightly off, but he is expected to FULLY recover.  He told me “It was worth it to have the stroke just so I could experience that warm sensation.”  He was released from the hospital on Friday and returned to work after the weekend.  All tests have been inconclusive; we don’t know what caused the stroke.  He is now on blood thinner and cholesterol medicine (his cholesterol is considered normal, but high for a stroke victim).

As for me, I have never had an experience like this before and am extremely humbled to have been used as God’s instrument.  I do not recall feeling anything at all during the healing.  It has been a very emotional experience for me and I am truly grateful to God for healing Bob and for the blessing He bestowed on all of us.  I believe that God must have great plans for Bob.

We glorify God by sharing this story with you.  BELIEVE that your prayers ARE heard.  Jesus DOES heal.  Jesus DOES save.  Believe it with all your heart.  If you haven’t talked to Him lately, why not start now and thank Him for your many blessings…. and always glorify His name. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Two Things I Learned This Week - Old Testament Version

I learned two things I thought were pretty interesting this week, and both pertained to the Old Testament. 

The first has to do with today's first reading.  Manna from heaven.  

Some scholars believe they know where that manna came from. Without taking away from the divine part, they believe it could have been from the Tamarisk trees that grow in the Sinai. 
Walking the Bible author Bruce Feiler tells us that "plant lice suck on the sap of those trees, and excrete white resinous globules onto the branches."  He goes on to say that the sweet globules crystallize in the sun, fall to the ground, and if not harvested quickly, can dry up and disappear or get blow away in the wind.  

Despite the fact that he tells us this manna tastes like honey, lice excretion doesn't sound super appealing to me!  But I guess if I was stranded in the desert ....

The second has to do with the term Yahweh.  

Did you know that we aren't 100% sure that Yahweh is Yahweh?  

The only letters we have are YHWH - we do not have the vowels.  Therefore, we aren't 100% how it is pronounced!  

In fact, there are many scholars today that think the correct word is more like Yehowah, not Yahweh.

Hope you are having a blessed week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sometimes the Stars Just Align

And we get a reading like 
John 3:16 on a day like 
Father's Day.

God so loved the world that he gave his only son,
so that everyone that believes in Him might not perish
but might have eternal life.

There is nothing more to write really.

There is no better example for fathers ... or humans ... than that.

Thank you, Lord.

And Happy Father's Day to all you Fathers, Grandfathers, and Godfathers out there.

God Bless.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What a Waste

I read an article this week that stated Americans waste anywhere from $2 Billion to $5 Billion each year in gift cards.  They get them, and then lose them or never use them.
My first reaction was to scoff at the foolish folks that miss out on getting "free" stuff.  "It's like throwing money away," I said aloud as I read the article.

But halfway though, I remembered the Macy's gift card I had sitting around since last year.  

And the Best Buy gift card I got for Christmas. 

I got up and nervously looked around for them - hoping to find both so I didn't become part of the dreaded statistic.   

Fear not, friends.  I found them.  

Along with cards for Sears, Barnes and Noble, and Kohl's.  

"Technically, I haven't wasted these yet, since they are still valid," I said, trying to convince myself I wasn't part of the group I had just looked down on.

Flash forward to this weekend's Pentecost Mass.  

Our priest echoed today's readings in his homily, reminding us of the gifts given to us by God, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. 

"I guess I better start looking for those," I thought, "before I let those go to waste as well ...."

A Blessed Pentecost to all of you.  God Bless.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm It

I've been a bit remiss in fulfilling my meme duties over the past few weeks.

Victor tagged me during Lent to share 5 things I love about Jesus.   

And Karinann passed on a meme where I have to choose my three favorite Scripture verses. 

I think most of you that read this blog also read theirs, so I don't need to gush on about how wonderful both of them are.  But if you need me to just let me know ...

In any case, two memes are one too many for my simple mind to work on - so I'm going to break some rules and combine them.  

(sound of blogosphere gasping in unison)

I know, I know.  But here it goes.  I'm going to find my three favorite verses that show why I love Jesus.   

Drumroll please .... 

Number 3:  John 13:1-17

Jesus washes His disciples' feet.

I love Jesus not only because He showed great humility by performing this act, but because He did it to teach us.  Equally powerful, though, was when He did it.  On the night he was about to be handed over to death, He loved us enough to keep teaching.  How did He keep such focus?  Such a caring frame of mind?  It is beyond my comprehension - but certainly not taken for granted.

Number 2:   John 21:15-17

Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him three times.

We've all been guilty of doing or saying the wrong thing.  Remember how badly you wanted a do-over?  I can't imagine the guilt poor Peter must have been living with after denying our Lord three times.  Jesus lets him redeem himself in one of the most beautiful gestures in the entire Gospel.  

I love Him for showing me that same forgiveness.

Number 1:   1 Peter 2:21-24

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 
 “He committed no sin,
   and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 

A perfect summary of the sacrifice Christ made for us.   It captures His innocence, His obedience, and His love.  

And, of course, it reminds me of the most important reason I love Jesus.

Thanks again to Victor and Karinann.

God Bless you.