Sunday, April 24, 2011

"He is Risen ...

... just as He said."

A Glorious Easter to you and your families!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tiniest of Glimpses ...

My church has a 10ft+, 150+ pound Cross that we all kiss during Mass on Good Friday.  One by one, each member of the congregation walks up and pays homage to the sacrifice our Savior made for us.

Today, after the last person kissed it, four ushers walked up to the cross, lifted it up, and started walking it to the left rear of the church.  Awkwardly and slowly, they maneuvered the cross down two stairs and around the pews.  When they finally shuffled to their destination, they slowly lowered the cross and held it - with shaking arms - low enough so one of the handicapped members could kiss it. 

Then they slowly picked up the cross again, and awkwardly made their way to the center-rear of the church so an elderly man could kiss it.  

This went on a few more times, and I have to admit, I was quite moved by the gesture.   Here were four men bringing the cross to those that couldn't get to it themselves - ironically almost 2000 years after our Savior carried His away from us.

But I was also moved by the physical labor it took to do it.  It took them 15 minutes to cover about 50 feet.  

And then I realized God was sending us another message.   He was giving us a small glimpse at the physical pain His Son went through ....

The cross Jesus carried probably weighed close to 300 pounds, and was probably at least 8 feet high.  (And even if He only carried the crossbeam, that still had to be at least 7 feet and 100 pounds.)

Yet Jesus carried it hundreds of feet - part of that by himself.

After being brutally beaten.

And he wasn't walking on carpet either.

I don't know if I will ever be able to comprehend everything He did for us.  But today I feel like I got the tiniest of glimpses.

I hope you are having a Blessed Triduum.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Would *You* Go?

If you are reading this right now, there is a good chance you are home.

And if you are home, there is a good chance you are safe and sound.  

Maybe even comfortable.

It's nice isn't it?  

Now imagine you were reading this post, and your CNN or BBC news feed popped up and warned of a terrible, terrible event happening in the town right next to you. 

Imagine a group of men had roadblocked the entrances to that town and were killing folks one-by-one as they entered.   And another group of men was going door to door in that town torturing people.

Would you get up from your chair, grab your car keys, and drive towards that town? 

Of course not.  

As horrible as it sounds, you'd be fine because you'd be safe and sound in your town.  In your comfy home.  

But what if you later found out that one of your loved ones was in that town?

Would you do it then?  

How long would you have to think about it before you nervously gathered up the strength to drive into danger?   How sick would your stomach be?

Would you put your own safety aside and risk death to save a loved one?


I used to think of Palm Sunday as a glorious day.  I imagined Jesus riding peacefully into a palm-branch-lined Jerusalem.  The sun was shining.  Puffy white clouds were in the air.  People were overjoyed to see Him.  

Then I looked at it from our Savior's point of view.

He basically chose to ride into a town where people were ready to kill Him.  

And He knew it.

But He did it to save His loved ones.


I hope you are having a Blessed Lent.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The 2011 Bible

Do you ever find yourself shaking your head at people in the Bible?

I do all the time.

I shake my head at the people around Jesus for taking so long to realize who He was and what He was sent to do ... even though He gave them all the answers. 

I shake my head at the people who condemned Jesus despite all the good He was doing among them.

I shake my head at those who refused to believe Him - like some of those in today's Gospel that did not believe He gave sight to the blind man.

I shake my head at those who did not listen to Him, those that did not thank Him, and those that just couldn't be bothered with Him.

And then I remind myself that the Bible is a compilation of specific events that are pulled - and highlighted - from the rest of daily life.  

So I can only imagine what the 2011 Bible would look like, had the Evangelists written about specific events from my life and the world we live in now ...

John 148:29   "Despite the poor and suffering in his own town, Michael sat on his couch and watched a mindless FBI TV drama.  Others watched a show about twenty somethings worrying about how good their tan looked.  And still others, a show about rich women arguing over what to serve at their cocktail party."

Mark 79:1  "The Bible sat on Michael's coffee table while he read the latest issue of Sports Illustrated.  Worse yet (but not much), many people in that town did not even own a copy of this Blessed book.  The Word of God was among them to read, and they looked the other way."

Luke 100:3-8  "... Jesus suffered greatly so that sinners could be forgiven.  And yet Michael grumbled through one day of fasting, and was only half focused as he prayed the Rosary ...."

I can just imagine how badly future generations will be shaking their head at me...

God Bless.