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.