Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Gospel

Today is Memorial Day in the United States - a day where we reflect and remember those who died serving this country.  

Ironically, today's Gospel reading also focuses on death and serving, albeit in a slightly different way.  In today's reading, Jesus tells the parable of a man who built a wine tower and then leased it out to tenant farmers.  He sends servant after servant to collect the produce from them, but each servant is either beaten or killed.  

Finally the man sends his beloved son.  He thinks "surely they will respect my son".  

But of course, the tenants kill him as well.

This parable, of course, speaks to the fact that God also sent many servants (prophets) to speak to the world, but many were beaten and killed.

God then decided to send his only Son.  

However, unlike the man in the parable, God knew that His Son would be tortured and killed.

What a sacrifice the Lord gave for us!  And how hard it must have been to not only send His Son, but to watch what we did to Him.  

So today, on this national holiday, I not only thank all those who served our country, but also their parents who endured such trying times.  But most of all, I thank Jesus for his sacrifice and His Father for an equally unfathomable one.

God Bless you.

Monday, May 16, 2016

How do we describe the Holy Spirit?

This weekend we celebrated the beautiful Feast of the Pentecost.  

I, like most people, have a harder time talking about (or imagining) the Holy Spirit versus the other two persons of the Holy Trinity.  

Jesus walked the Earth as one of us, so He is the easiest to imagine.  

The Bible tells us that God created us in His likeness, so again, we have some direction there as well. 

But it dawned on me this weekend how different the Holy Spirit is.  In various Bible passages, The Spirit is mentioned as "like a Dove" or "as Tongues of Fire" or as a "wind".  I realized that these varied references probably add to my difficulty in describing the Spirit as easily as the Son.  

But upon hearing the readings at mass, I realized that the easiest way to envision - and describe - the Holy Ghost is how the Spirit works through people.   Think about the Apostles and their drastic change once they were strengthened with the Spirit.  The most powerful description of the Holy Spirit in that story, in my opinion, isn't fire ... it is the change we saw in the followers of Jesus!  They were more confident, had more skills, and went on to change the world!

What are your thoughts?

I pray that you are strengthened in the same way by the Holy Spirit.  God Bless you.