Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eighth Sunday in Ordnary Time

You cannot serve both God and Mammon. Instinctively, we know this, but all too often we hedge our bets, becoming anxious about the 'stuff' that surrounds us. But Jesus gives us the example of the birds and flowers - they do not work, yet they are well feed and arrayed. They simply respond to God's will, and He provides. When we seek His Kingdom and righteousness first, and everything else follows - He will give us what we truly need. So, following the example of the birds and the flowers, we respond to God's will for us, and trust in His Providence

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Be holy, be perfect, be merciful... We are called to be fulfilled in Christ, to come to perfection. This does not mean that we cease to have flaws, or that we suddenly know and see all, but rather that we are exactly who we are to be. We rest in God. This is holiness. Out of that rest, we in turn meet the needs of others in mercy. This, too, is holiness. So, we allow the Lord to build us into His holy Church, and find in Him rest, peace, mercy, and perfection.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Father to My Mother

I have tried not to post too many personal things here, as I am trying to keep this blog general, but I know that I must write the following.
My mother is in the hospital, having had a heart attack, and she continues to have something abnormal with her heart. The doctors are going to be running an angiogram today, and possibly an angioplasty. Hopefully, nothing more drastic will be needed.
Yesterday, I visited her (she is 2 and 1/2 hours away, and with weekend Masses, it was difficult to get there earlier). I took my anointing kit in to the hospital, just in case. But I was hesitant because this was my mother. I have received so much from her: my faith, my life, and the ability to know, receive, and give love. But I could not bring myself to ask her if I could anoint her. (In the course of the conversation, however, it was revealed that the priest chaplain had been there to anoint her.) I hate to admit, but I was relieved. At the end of our visit, she asked for a prayer and a blessing, which I gave. But I struggled to find the words, to choke back the emotions, and to do my priestly duty.
As I priest, I have visited many hospital rooms, anointed countless people, given many blessings. In none have I struggled so much as I did last night. After prayer and reflection, letting the experience stir in my heart, I still do not have a full answer, but in part, it was a struggle because now the roles were reversed: I was to be her spiritual father, to bring her to the our heavenly Father and beg for her. This woman, again, gave me everything, and now I was asked to give back. It was not out of selfishness, but out of the recognition of her vulnerabilities, and my own. Certainly, I was willing to give back, but in doing so, I had to admit something that I perhaps did not realize. I do not recall having a "hero complex" with my father, but I know that I have had one (and possibly still do) with my mother. As she asked for the prayer and blessing, I had to let that go.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus calls us to be radical in our observance of the commandments, that we live nt only the letter but the spirit of the law. Why? So that we may have a share in the Kingdom of Heaven, that kingdom that is so glorious "eye has not see, ear has not heard, nor has it even dawned on the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him". But we must choose - God our Heavenly Father loves us and desires our salvation, but He lets us choose. Do we follow in love, or do we sin in hate. There is the possibility of forgiveness while there is breath, and so we turn to the Lord when we have sinned.

What does this mean for those considering a vocation - the same! We must choose, submit ourselves to God in responding to a vocation, and love Him. The Lord is good, and He gently invites us to follow Him.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time

We are to be salt and light... Just as salt preserves and enhances flavor, we are to preserve the morality of God, and enhance the culture around us with the awareness of God. We are to let the light of Christ, the light of the world, shine forth from us, shining into the darkness of the world still in the grips of sin, and lead others to Christ. We preach Christ Crucified, a message of utter simplicity, and complexity - Christ who saves us by His cross, because of his love for us!