Sunday, March 25, 2012

Do We Point To Him Enough

In listening to the Gospel today, especially the part where Jesus tells us that a grain of wheat can produce much fruit after it dies, one word kept ringing in my mind ...


Obviously Jesus left the greatest legacy of all - Salvation.

But what about us?  

What is the "right amount" of legacy for us to leave?  What is realistic for us mere mortals?  What should we be aiming for?

Deep questions, I know.  It feels almost too big to wrap my simple mind around.

But there is a song by Nichole Nordeman, appropriately titled Legacy, where she asks:

How will they remember me?  
Did I choose to love?
Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things? 

Maybe it is as "simple" as those two questions.  

When people look back on our lives, will they say we followed God's greatest commandment and loved? 

And will they say we pointed to God, not just once in a while, but consistently enough so that we made a difference?

While those might not be the only two things we want to be remembered for, they are certainly excellent starting points.  

And what better time than this Lent to start working towards that goal.

God Bless.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Extra Coat in Your Closet isn't Yours

I came across this quote that I think is super timely given we are knee-deep in Lent.

"When someone steals another's clothes, we call them a thief. 
Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? 
The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor."   - St. Basil the Great

How many of us have a shirt in our closet we never wear, but are keeping "just in case"? 

A 10 year old jacket we hold on to for sentimental reasons?

A pair of pants we wear twice a year?  

Before reading that quote, I categorized the act of hanging onto those things as - at the worst - hoarding.  That the only victim was the hoarder, right?  The poor sentimental sap's only punishment was an overcrowded closet, yes?  

But St. Basil gave me a whole new perspective.  

Those things don't belong to us.  They belong to the poor that need them.  By keeping those items we are depriving the needy.

Instead of wearing that shirt once a year, someone else might wear it 52 times.  Those shoes we wear only when we find ourselves at a mud-filled sporting event might become someone's daily pair.  That jacket we hang onto "just because" might keep someone warm all winter.   

Our "just in cases" and "extras" are their necessities.  

(Michael disappears off screen, headed to his closet with bag in hand ....)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Lobster, Comments, and the Transfiguration

Well, I am quite thrilled that Victor has bestowed the prestigious Lobster Award on me.   (More on the award in a second ...)

And while I am thankful that he has given me this highly prized crustacean, I am also now left with the challenge of weaving it into a post about today's gospel.  

Here goes nothing ...

First, the award.  Victor sums up his invention this way:

This magnificent and rarely presented Award is only given to those tireless and hard-working Bloggers who, despite the many vicissitudes which life may throw in their way, despite the magnitude of the task ahead in their daily grind that is this vale of tears, despite every obstacle, every hardship, and every discouragements and temptations to just click and move on to another Blog; they still find time to visit your personal offering and to regularly leave a message there in the Comments Box. 

(Little does Victor know that I enjoy reading his posts, and leaving a comment on his page is really no work at all.  But I will continue to feign sweat and tears each time I visit if it means I can call myself an Award Winning Blogger .  Shhhh.  Our secret.)

In any case, today we read about the Transfiguration.  

I usually focus on two things when I read that passage:  (a) wonder at what it really looked like, and (b) pity for poor St. Peter who blurted out the only thing he could think of to help.    

But Victor's award has forced me to think of a new angle.

Perhaps this event was Jesus taking time out from His "daily grind that is this vale of tears, full of every obstacle, every hardship, and every discouragement and temptation" to show three of his closest friends that he cares.  

He gave them a glimpse of something really special.  Something no one else got to see.  A sneak peak at the bigger picture.  A sign that would help them believe. 

A token of appreciation, perhaps.

And so now it is my turn.  I tried my hardest to turn my clothes dazzling white, but alas, I'm just a mere mortal.  So instead, I will turn you blog red, and hand out this Lobster Award to those of you that take the time out of your busy days to let me know you are out there and reading:

Daily Grace

I really do appreciate the camaraderie.

(And thank you to everyone else that reads this blog each week, knowing comments are not a requirement!)

God Bless.

P.S.  A special thanks to Victor for not only coming up with this award, but for always trying to inspire the rest of us!