Sunday, December 20, 2015

Just Like One of Us


"I just love Pope Francis.  He is just like one of us!"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, he is the Pope ... the most important Catholic on Earth ... and yet, he acts like he is one of us 'common folk'.  He speaks in a way that we can understand, he takes public transportation, he eats with homeless and criminals alike, etc.  It's almost like he stoops down to our 'level'.  I like that."

"I see what you mean.  A lot of people probably feel like you do.  (pause)  So if people are so impressed by Pope Francis acting like one of us ... imagine how impressed they'd be if they stopped to think how much further God had to 'stoop' to come down and be just like one of us."

A very Blessed Christmas week to you and your families!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

My Conversation with Jesus on the Mountain

A vision popped into my mind at Mass this weekend. 

I imagined sitting on a mountain with Jesus, looking down at the town and busyness below.  

We were talking, mostly about how hard it is to keep God a priority in this day in age, and especially at Christmastime.  We read all the right passages in the Gospels, and hear all the right perspectives from our priests and religious men and women.  

But for the other 90% of the time, I told Him, it gets really hard to not get caught up in society.  From jobs to politics to buying presents, we are focused on many, many other things.  

I asked Him for a thought ... a reminder ... anything that could help me feel the right perspective.  

He motioned to the crucifix I wear around my neck, and looked at me with eyes that said "What else could you possibly need?"  

I nodded bashfully in acknowledgement.  

Then He said, "Ok, how about this ... if I were to tell you I could take you to Heaven right now, to be with me forever ... what else down there (motioning back to society) would you worry about?  What else would you care about?"

I soaked that in. 

The answer, of course, was nothing.  In fact, other than my family and friends, every other thing in my life shrunk smaller than a spec of sand.  And I actually felt it in that moment*.  I did not have another care in the world.

Just then, the gift basket at Mass arrived at my lap, and I returned to reality.  But I did not forget the example Jesus gave me, and will definitely remind myself of it often.

God Bless you.

*  I must admit, after re-reading this post, much of the feeling is lost in putting the words on paper screen.  In order to recreate the feeling, I find I need to not read it, but imagine the scenario again, and try to feel what it would be like to be in that situation.  Just reading the words is a poor substitute.  (Probably because there is a poor writer behind them!)