Sunday, February 22, 2015

Once again, I am an idiot

As I circled the church on Ash Wednesday, I was getting more and more frustrated.  

There was not a parking spot to be found - in the Church parking lot or the street - and I was not a happy camper.  I mumbled to my dashboard, "Who are all these people?  Ash Wednesday is never this crowded!"  

After finally finding a spot way down the street, I trudged through the snow to the Church to find seats anywhere.  In fact, there was barely any room in the narthex to stand.  

Plus, I was now late.

To say I was not in the right state of mind to start the Blessed season of Lent would be an understatement.  

In fact, it wasn't until the second reading that it hit me.  

I had been given exactly what I asked for.

Those of you that read this blog regularly know that every Christmas and Easter, I pray that all of those people that pack the church on those two Holy Days return for our "normal" masses.  

And there, right in front of me, was a full Church.  In the past, Ash Wednesday ... if we were lucky ... filled the main part of the church.  But it is normally 1/2 to 3/4 full and never standing room only.  

Yet God had called others to this mass - maybe even those I prayed for.  And instead of immediately thanking Him, and praising His work, I was selfishly frustrated because I couldn't find a parking spot.

What an idiot I am.

God must have had His head in His hands watching me.  I am just lucky He is so forgiving.

I hope you are all having a Blessed Lent.  Please join me in praying that God will continue to call people to His church.  (And open the eyes of those that already go!)  God Bless.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Jesus, Leper and You Switcheroo

In today's Gospel from Mark, a leper approaches Jesus and asks to be made clean.

Jesus, as we know, agrees and cleanses the poor man.  

At that point, Jesus and the leper pull the old switcheroo.  The leper, who previously could not be part of his community because of his disease, was now free to rejoin society.  Jesus, on the other hand, who previously went from town to town, now had to remain in deserted areas because of His popularity.

Why is Jesus so popular?  Because despite telling the leper to "tell no one anything", the now-clean man cannot contain himself.  He preaches about Christ so well, that Jesus could not enter towns anymore.  And people still sought Him and found Him where He stayed.  

But in another reversal, Jesus tells you, and me, the exact opposite.  He asks us to spread His word to everyone.  The question is ... have we had the same effect that the leper had?  

Or is it another switcheroo?

God Bless you.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Understanding Alone is Not Enough

In today's Gospel, Jesus drives an unclean spirit out of a man in Capernaum.  

That spirit teaches us an interesting lesson.

It would be a fair statement to say that that spirit understood who Jesus was.  After all, he correctly stated that Jesus was the "Holy One of God".  (In fact, he recognized it before many of Jesus' followers!)

But "understanding" alone is not enough.  That spirit did not serve the Lord, or act in a way that was pleasing to Him. 

In many ways, that spirit is alive in the world today.  There are many people who understand that Jesus is Christ, but who do not act with love, or live His words.  And worse, they go about inflicting others with this "spirit" - just like that unclean spirit did back in Capernaum. 

Perhaps we even do the same from time to time.

So my prayer today is that God strengthens us all with His Spirit, so that we may not just understand, but always do His will and reflect His light. 

God Bless you.