Thursday, October 30, 2014

FASHION SHOW

Ephesians 6:10-20; Ps 144 Blessed be the Lord, my rock;Luke 13:31-35

Fashion.  It is always the big talk.  What is fashionable?  What is the trend?  There is always a fall line and a spring line when it comes to the latest fashion.

Skirts and shirts and pants and dresses and purses and shoes or heels, or flip flops or pumps or wedges, all of these are incorporated into the newest fashion for folks to put on and lay claim to the fashion bug.

Yet, St paul reminds us that regardless of the outer wear we dawn we must remember we are part of another fashion show each and every day.  We belong to an invisible and very real spiritual fashion show and these matter most of all. the amor of God: truth,  righteousness, readiness for the gospel of peace, faith, the spirit, prayer and supplication.

This is God's fashion line.  We are invited to get with the fashion of grace and faith daily in our life.

Today or tomorrow when you go to your closest and look at what awaits you or if you can't decide what to wear be sure to be convicted in your spiritual fashion as you walk out your door.

The inner wear is timeless the outer wear will fade and always change.  God's fashion never goes out of style.

In today's gospel, we encounter Jesus lamenting over Jerusalem.  This place of lament is marked by a church built in the shape of a tear drop there in the holy land over looking the valley: Dominus Flevit.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

CLIMBING

Luke 13:22-30

""strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough…"

The word for "striving" is the word from which we derive "agony".  The struggle to enter into the narrow gate is intense, an intense agony not unlike Jesus' own agony in the garden, "Let this cup pass but be your will not mine."

We can never just sit back as if the goal was achieved.  The christian way can be liken to those who died on Mount Everest.  It was reported that when they were last seen, they were "going strong for the top."  Or as was described by the head stone of an Alpine guide, "he died climbing."

For the Christian, life is always upward and onward.

Pope Benedict has this to say about the Narrow Gate: "everybody has an equal chance to enter through the narrow gate but it is demanding, it requires commitment, self-denial, and mortification of one's own egoism…Christ invites all to heaven but with one requirement, that we take up our cross and follow him by dedicating our life to the service of our brothers.  True friendship with Christ is expressed by one's way of life:goodness, humility, meekness, mercy, love of justice and truth…"


Sunday, October 26, 2014

LOVE TRIANGLE

When you here the word love triangle what come to mind?

Perhaps the intrigue that develops on a soap opera or the encounters of JErry Springer love.  Maybe even the recent movie hits like Twilight or The Hunger Games.

Loretta Lynn sang "you're not woman enough to take my man."

Love Triangle usually involve as you might had guessed it three, perhaps two men vying for the affection of one woman or two women vying for the attention and affection of one man and they go at it until someone is left on the outside looking in.

There is usually a lot of intense emotion, sentiment, tears, pain, and perhaps even vengeance played out in these types of relationships.

But are there healthy love triangles?  Is there a love triangle that is recommended by Sacred Scripture.  Does Jesus speak about such realities?

In today's gospel Jesus proclaims the essential summation of the law and prophets with a simple response to a question, "which commandment is the greatest in the law?"

You Shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul.  You shall love your neighbor  as yourself.

Extreme simplicity and the ultimate love triangle: God, Neighbor, Self.

Here is the Love Triangle that is meant to set the world on Fire.

How do we do with this love triangle?

A professor of literature once posed this thought, "if you want to know what is happening in story?  If you want to know where the plot is developing then look what love is doing?

Follow the path of love!

What is love doing in you life, your story?
How are we engaged in the love triangle on which our life in eternity depends?

Examen, reflect and then act!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

THE EARTH IS FULL OF THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD

Ephesians 3:14-21; Ps 33 The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord; Luke 12:49-53

The response for today's psalm is the following, "The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord."

It was striking to read that this morning especially after i checked the headlines on the news for today: rampage in Canada, teacher murdered in VErmont, teens hit and run on a 9 year old, more jihadist, domestic violence in the NFL, stoning to death in Syria, husband charged with killing wife, wife charged with killing husband, Satanist wants to talk about the black Mass ebola still on the move, and the list goes on.

And yet this morning we hear that refrain nice again, "The Earth is filled with the goodness of the Lord."

People wonder where is the goodness of the Lord.

The word "goodness: in today's refrain is the hebrew word hesed, which is the mutual concern that marks the relationship of covenant members with each other.  It mutual care and concern.

We are all covenant members with God.  We have been asked to have mutual care and concern for one another.  We bring the goodness of God to the world daily by our mutual care and concern we have for those we encounter.  The goodness of the Lord is a grass roots reality.  IT fills the world from the bottom up.

This is the way the goodness of the Lord fills the earth.

This morning after I read the headlines and then the refrain I stepped outside and caught a glimpse of the rising sun.  Everything was bathed isn a orange glow.

It reminded me that in order for the goodness of the Lord to fill the earth, we have to be willing to step outside, step outside the headlines and zoom in on what is around us and there reach out in mutual care and concern and watch the goodness of the lord blossom.

It is easy to lose sight of God' s goodness when we focus on the headlines.  But lets focus elsewhere. We must remember, even division is a sign of God's goodness, "Do you think that I have come to bring peace on earth? no, I tell you, but rather division."  We have to be willing to be part of that division, stepping outside the bounds of the world so that the goodness of God can reign.


SAINT JOHN PAUL II

Wednesday October 22, we celebrated for the first time the memorial of John Paul II.  This is very unique for me.  This is the first time that someone in my life time has been canonized and raised to the roll call of saints.

Usually when we celebrate memorials of men and women who faithfully followed God they lived several hundred years before our time.  But not John Paul II.  He was on our TV screens.  He came to visit Texas.  He was very much apart of our faith life for many years.

It is quite a unique experience to be celebrating his life and legacy now at the altar as one enrolled in heaven.

Some years ago I received a book, not sure from who, that was entitled "Breakfast with the Pope." This was a small book that had little daily reflections or excerpts from Pope John Paul II's writings, homilies, teachings etc.

One of those pages contains what I believe to be the central theme of his teaching in regards to grace and the human heart.  This is what St John Paul II had to say, "The true Christian is a living gospel, written in flesh and blood, proclaimed with every beat of the heart.  By our life we assert the relevance of Christ and the unceasing newness of the gospel."

Think about that for a moment or two or the rest of your life.

The gospels are not just words written on a page in the bible: MAtthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Rather the gospel is being written by our life daily. It is a lived reality.  We belong to the narrative of salvation. Each day a new chapter is being written about Jesus and his church and his impact by the life we live.

This is pretty powerful stuff.

As John Paul II also stated, "we are not the sum total of our failures and weakness, but the sum total of our Father's love for us and the real capacity to become the image of the son."

St. John Paul II intercede for us.

Here are few more quotes from John PAul II, "Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one must not misuse it."


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

READY TO OPEN IMMEDIATELY

ephesians 2:12-12; Ps 85 The Lord speaks of peace to his people; Luke 12:35-38

Jesus said to his disciples, "gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master's return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.  Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.  He will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants."

This week I have had several funerals and I have a few more up head.  The ages of these persons who have made the transition from this life to the life to come is quite the contrast: 31, 92, 62.  They certainly have the first, second, and third watch covered.

Once again life has a way of reminding us all of just how valuable and precious our time is.  It also reminds us that we should not take any moment for granted. We should strive to be ready to open at any moment.

Each day calls for an attentiveness and a deep awareness of the nudging of God.  As we practice responding  to his promptings daily, opening immediately our life to his presences and his will then we will find ourselves ready no matter what hour of our life we are called to be with him.

This is the hope that St Paul speaks of in the first reading, "without hope with out God in the world." In Christ Jesus we have become near by the blood of Christ.  In Christ the dark door of tomorrow has been thrown open wide.  The mystery of what lies ahead is less mysterious because of Christ.  He has gone before us.

We do have an inside scoop so to speak if we trust the witness he brings as he journeys form death to life and holds a promise out to us.

We cannot live as if this world is as good as it gets and yet in embracing the hope we have in Christ then we strive to make this world better through our service of one another in Christ.

Practice opening immediately to the nudging of God today.  Be the servant.

Friday, October 17, 2014

GAME BALL

Ephesians 1:11-14; PS 33 Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own; Luke 12:1-7

Often times after a big weekend of football, whether it be highschool or college or even Pro, some body will get the game ball or will be nominated offensive or defensive player of the week.

This player impressed the coaches and did something to help the team experience victory at least one more week.

I wonder if God handed out game  balls, would any of us have impressed him?  Did any of us help others experience victory this week?

The saints are those who receive game balls from the church.  They are recognized as players of faith who impressed the world and society around them with victory and who continue to impress us as we journey in faith.

This week a couple of game balls went to St Teresa of Avila and St Ignatius of Antioch.

St Teresa was a woman of great resolve and clout.  She wanted to dedicate herself completely to the service of God.  She has several quotes that I think will be helpful for us as we journey in the life of faith.

She said w emus always remember the body wants more than it needs.  What we desire isn't always helpful in the spiritual life.  We have to discipline our desires just like we discipline our bodies in order to be spiritually fit.

Secondly, she said, true strength rises in obedience.  The yardstick for love is shown in obedience to God and to his church.  Rebelling against church teaching, doing our own thing is a sign of weakness not of strength.  We have told by our society just the opposite.  We have been acting as if rebellion is the true strength of soul and look what it has done to our society.  The yardstick of love is obedience.

St Ignatius was a big gun in the early church.  He was a pupil of St John, the writer of the gospel of John.  He was bishop of Antioch from 70 AD- 107AD.

He was arrested for his faith and was sentenced to be thrown into the coliseum to the wild animals.
In his life he tried to "imitate the passion of God."  Think about God's passion!  How do we imitate that passion in our daily lives?

He also said that together, we believers are like a choir  that in harmonious love we sing a song to the Father.  However, many of us sing a little off key and are not on the right pitch.  Our song to the Father has been drown out by those who are Christian in name only.

Lastly on his way to be fed to the lions he stated the following, "It is not that I merely want to be called Christian, but Ito actually be one.  YEs, if I prove to be one then I can have the name. Come what may:fire, cross, wild animals, mangling of limbs, crushing of my body, cruel torture-0ne thing, let me get to Jesus Christ.


He only wanted to be near Jesus.  Give me Jesus was his battle cry.  Click here for a song!
May you get your own game ball and experience victory for  the team.