Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mind of christ

2 corinthians 2:10-16; Psalm 145 The Lord is just in all his ways; Luke 4:31-37

What a bold statement put forth by St. Paul, "we have the mind of Christ."

How many of us would stand up and face the world and proclaim such a statement? how many of us would have the audacity to let those words echo forth from our larnyx?

Hopefully, many of us would, especially those who are in union with the Catholic church. The church is the one who recieves the deposit of grace, the gift of the Holy Spirit, as Jesus reminds us, "I will send the paraclete to remind you all that I taught and did" and again "I will not leave you orphans" and again, "I will be with you to the end of the age" and again in the upper room to the aposltes, "receieve the Holy SPirit, whose sins you forgive are forgiven whose sins you retain are retained" and finally at the great commission "go forth to baptise, to teach, to make disciples."

St. Paul is not speaking personally in the above statement, rather he is speaking with the voice of the Church, "We have the mind of Christ." The Church has been entrusted with this deposit of grace, this deposit of faith, this treasure of the ages, beyond any price.

"We have the mind of Christ" the collective and universal, one, holy, catholic, apostolic, "we." How glorious, how beautiful, how marvelous is our God to give us such a mother who bears the "mind of Christ" for all.

As we say at mass, "look not on our sins but on the faith of your church."

So we have the mind of Christ...our audacity,our boldness comes from the Church...what relief, what a gift, what great joy, more importantly what a mind to have, to think with the church is to think with the mind of Christ.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

st augustine

Today is the feast of St.Augustine. As we read in the second reading for this Sunday, in light of Christ, we have "approached mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and countless angels in festal gathering, and the assembly of the firstborn enrolled in heaven, and God the judge of all, and the spirits of the just made perfect, and JEsus, the mediator of a new covenant, and the sprinkled blood that speaks more eloquently than that of Abel."

In Christ we approach a festival of mercy, a festival of grace, a community that welcomes us. Thus, as the church has pronounced, St. Augustine as a member of that cloud of witness, of the just being made perfect, we look to him for guidance.

Below is an article on Pope Benedict's words on St. Augstine and why he is important for our age: click here

Words from the Doctor himself

"you are great, Lord, and highly to be praised: great is your power and your wisdom is immeasurable. Man, a little piece of your creation, desires to praise you, a human being 'bearing his mortality with him', carrying with him the witness of his sin and the witness that you 'resist the proud'. Nevertheless, to praise you is the desire of man, a little piece of your creation. You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until it rest in you." Opening lines of his Confession

Friday, August 27, 2010


wisdom from our father in regards to humility

St. John Chrysostom
"Bring me a pair of two horse chariots: in the one harness pride with justice, in the other sin with humility: and you will see that sin out running justice wins not by its own strength, but by that of humility: while you will see the other pair beaten, not by weakness of justice, but by the weight and size of pride."

St. Gregory the Great
"The lesson proposed to us in the mystery of our redemption is the humility of our God."

St. Augustine
"Are you thinking abut raising the great fabric of spirituality? Attend first of all to the foundation of humilty!"

St. Thomas Aquinas
"Humility is man's subjection to God; reverence for what belongs to God in others, for God's sake."

St. Frances de Sales
"Alas! do mules cease to be disgusting beast simply because they are laden with precious and perfumed goods of the prince?" We are like the donkey whose master, when he wishes to, loads with treasures of great value.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

plenty of time

1 Corinthians 1:1-9; Psalm 145 I will praise your name forever Lord; Matthew24:42-51

Jesus in the gospel tells us to "stay awake! For you do not know on which day the Lord will come."

Story is told of Satan having a conference with his little devil apprentices, those learning the trade of temptation. Satan was interviewing them on what task they would ploy to get souls to abandon God and thus lose their souls.

The first suggested that he would tempt people to think there was no God. Satan smiled and said well that is an old trick that doesn't need to be employed, people already think there is no God without us.

The second little devil said he was going to tempt people to think there was no hell. Again Satan smiled and said that too is an old trick and again people already are convinced their is no hell.

The third little devil spoke up and said his plan was to convinve everybody that there was no hurry. He figured complaceny was his best bet. Satan agreed!

The best defense agianst Christianity is to think there is no hurry, that we have plenty of time, that we always have tomorrow to get things right.

But the words of Jesus come back to awaken us form our complacency: Stay Awake, for you know not the day nor hour.

Today is the 100 year since the birth of Mother Teresa, today is her birthday into the world, and what a birth, quietly she came into the world and quietly she departed but in her wake she left a storm of love for all that continues to be grateful for the gift of her life.

"True love causes pain. Jesus in order to give us proof of his love, died on the cross. a mother, in order to give birth to her baby, has to suffer. If you really love one another, you will not be able to avoid making sacrifices (feeling pain)" Mother Teresa

Today is also the anniversary of the signing of the 19th amendment incorprating it into the constitution, the amendment stated that no citixen could be denied the right to vote on account of sex. Thus, women were given the right to vote. Secretary of state Bainbridge Colby who sign the amendment into the constitution, upon signing he spoke these words, "I now turn to the women of Amercian and say, "you may now fire when you are ready, you have been enfranchised."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


2 Thessolonians 3:6-10,16-18; Psalm 128 Blessed are those who fear the Lord; Matthew 23:27-32

St. Paul says, "We instruct you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to shun any brother who walks in a disorderly way and not according to the tradition they received from us."

Shun those who walk disorderly!

When we here the word shun, our ears prick up. Really! Did St. Paul really say that! It certainly is lot different that this day age where we are told to tolerate everything and all things, that is unless its true Christianity then society says we should shun it.

We are told to be accepting of everyone's choices and decisions. We have to make concessions. What works for them is good for them even if we think otherwise.

This is not what Paul says. He asks us not to tolerate, not to make concessions, to rather take a stand and correct them, to order them properly, this is what the word shun means in the greek; it means to set straight.

Why shun? BEcause a wrong decision is always wrong, and it reflects bad on those who are sekeing to follow more perfectly. Christians who support abortion, gay marriage, sex outside of marriage, artificial contraception are wrong. They are not living in accord to the tradition we have recieved.

We should not turn the other cheek, or turn the blind eye but rather we should stop, look then straight in the eye, and say get your life straight. Somethings are not good choices and if we let someone fall into the pit of destruction then we ourslves are guilty of murder.

Why? Why do we do this.

Becasue we should want what God wants for all peoples. And God wants them to encoutner true greatness, to become what they are made to be. He doesn't want them to settle for less and this is exactly what they are doing. We have a duty to remind them of the greatness the human heart is meant to achieve in cooperating with God's good grace. Because anything less disfigures the image and likeness of God we are created in.

A few words from Pope Benedict spoken this past Sunday
"Man is often tempted to stop at the little things, those that give a 'cheap' satisfaction and pleasure, those things that instantly gratify, things that are as easy to obtain but are ultimately illusory...finite things can give glimmers of satisfaction or joy, but only the infinite can completely fill man's heart...God came into the world to reawaken the thirst for great things in us...learning to pray is learning to desire, and thus learning to live."

God comes into the world to reawaken the human heart to greatness!

Is this not what Jesus does when he cracks the whip or calls the Pharisess and scribes on the mat, "you hypocrites, whitewashed tombs, filled with dead man bones..."

Jesus comes to shun, to put back into order what is disordered in order to reawken us to true greatness and thus we learn to desire what God himself desires, to want what he wants, to love what he loves, to live a life like his, in abundance.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Guard down, hope rises

Revelation 21:9-14; Psalm 145 Your friens make know, O Lord, the glorious splendor of your kingdom; John 1:45-51

The words of Bartholomew aka Nathaniel
"Can anything Good come from Nazareth."

Initially it seems that Bartholomew is a bit of a skeptic when it comes to the information given out by his companion and friend Philip about this so called Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.

How often is this the case when we are presented or others are presented with that which seems to be to good to be true, we error on the side of skepticism for fear we might be mistaken, or fear we might be let down. So we automaticlly protect ourselves from disappointment and doubt, and skepticism acts as a buffer of sorts so we "don't get our hopes up".

This can be a common reaction to Jesus. How often have people been skeptical about Jesus, about faith, about religion, about the church?

Philip did not get defensive as we have a tendency to do. Rather, he simply invited his friend Bartolomew to "come and see." He invited Bartholomew to check it out, trustung that the drawing power of Christ could be fully understood only in a personal encounter.

Once a genuine conversation occurs between Bartholomew and Jesus new horizons open up, old skepticism fades away, and hope is found, "Rabbi, you are the son of God; you are the king of Israel."

With Chirst we can let our guard down and get our hopes up!

This fervor that came upon Bartholomew never faded. He went on to preach about the drawing power and changing encounter of Christ up until his death, where he was flayed (skined ) alive in Armenia.

Bartholomew, once was skeptical then was a true disciple, chose in the end to give it all for this person, Christ. He refused to save his own skin because in the end it wasn't his to save, but rather it belonged completely to another, Christ the who brings hope.

Let your guard down, Christ in, and your hope rise.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

pius x

Ezekiel 43:1-7; Psalm 85 The glory of the Lord will dwell in our land; Matthew 23:1-12

Today we celebrate the Feast of Pius X, Pope at th eturn of last century,

He died at the beginnig of WWI August 20, 1914 and was canonized May 29, 1954. He was the first Pope to be Canonized at the time since the 17th century.

Just Three things to note about Pius X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto...given name)

1)He is the Pope responsible for allowing children at the age of 7 to recieve first communion. He felt that children were very capable at a young age of understanding the gift of the Eucharist. I would say children understand it more readily and deeply than adults.

2) In his will he wrote these words, "I was born poor, I have lived poor, I wish to die poor." Poverty of Spirit certainly took hold of Pius X, who sought to see all things as a gift from God, a gift that was undeserved yet required great diligence and a watchful eye. The greatest men amongst us are those who understand the poverty that resides in their human hearts. It is the man who does not try to hide it, or overcome it, or seek to compensate for it, but simply embraces it and lives fully in it that rises to true greatness. Lady Poverty as St. Francis called her, the great divine guest who seeks to accomapny us home reminding us all of the gift we have recieved, that is, grace upon grace.

3)Each Pope takes a motto for their coat of arms. Pius X chose the following words, "Instaurare omnia in Christo-To Restore all things in Christ."
These words are taken from the letter of Ephesians, words of St. Paul to one of the earliest Christian Communities. This was the task not of a single person but the task of all christians. The purpose of every Christian community was to restore all things in Christ. We are called to renovate the world, restoring it to its original beauty and luster that shines most perfectly in Christ, the glory God seen in the face of Christ.

To restore all things in Christ, is not just a mission statement, it is life itself as we know it.

the above picture is of Pius X as a little child. We forget sometimes that saints had their beginning just like we all have ours. They start small!

Friday, August 20, 2010

St Bernard of Clairvaux

Today is the feast of St. Bernard, doctor of the church and also one of the Church's mystics...those who were given the gift of initmate union with God here on earth.

A few words from the Good Doctor:

"Love is sufficient of itself, it gives pleasure by itself and because of itself. It is its own merit, its own reward. Love looks for no cause outside of itself, no effect beyond itself. Its profit lies in its practice.

I love because I love, I love that I may love.

Love is a great thing so long as it continually returns to its fountainhead, flows back to its source, always drawing from there the water which constantly replenishes.

Of alll the movements, sensations and feelings of the soul, love is the only one which the creature can respond to the Creator and make some sort of similar return however unequal though it be.

For when God loves, all he desires is to be loved in return; the sole purpose of his love is to be loved, in the knowledge that those who love him are made happy by their love of him."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

speak now or forever hold your peace

Ezekiel 36:23-18; Psalm 51 I will pour clean water on you and wash away your sins; Matthew 22:1-14

I came across a quote this morning that I thought might be useful to keep in one's back pocket or rolled up in one's sleeve just in case of an emergency...The quote deals with the words of Jesus and it goes as follows...

"I have a mustard seed and I am not afraid to use it."

I think it is grand. I have a mustard seed and I am not afraid to use it. The same mustard seed that can tell this mountain to be uprooted and be thrown into the sea. Yeah, that one.

I have a mustard seed, and I am not afraid to use it! Do you have a mustrad seed? Have you used yours lately?

Today we celebrate the Feast of John Eudes, the guy in the picture above. HE lived in the 17th century and was canonized May 31, 1925.

So to get today rolling I thought I might just include a few quotes from him, like black coffee running through our veins:

"Let us therefore give ourselves to God with great desire to begin to live thus, and beg Him to destroy in us the life of the world of sin, and to establish his life within us."

"Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make His spirit, His devotion, His affections, His desires, and His disposotion to live and reign there."

As for the gospel we read, "But when the king came in to meet the guest he saw a man there not dressed in a weddign garment. He said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you cam ein here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. The king said to his attendant, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' Many are invited, but few are chosen."

A stark reality check is given us today.

Often times we hear these words, "speak now or forever hold your peace" in movies associated with a wedding ceremony. It happens right before the vows are exchanged. It is an opportunity to speak, to let all know whether or not this marriage should take place. Once the exchange happens all words must fall mute.

When the opportuntiy is given, then we must rise to meet the challenge.

The man in the gospel was given to opportunity to speak. He was addressed by the King with a question. THe king was waiting for the reply, eagerly anticpating a response. But the man missed his opportunity. He held his peace and was found wanting. He did not rise to meet the challenge.

"Speak or foever hold your peace."

The gospel reminds us that we must act now, respond today. We cannot wait for another chance or for a better situation or scenario. The one given today is the one by which we meet God face to face. Do not hold your tongue but rather speak the answer he longed to hear, just make sure while you speak you have also clothed yourself in the proper attire, chairty and humility, will do just fine.

Silence is golden, but sometimes the choicest words are better than fine wine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shepherd me

"The word of the Lord came to me: Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel...woe to the shepherds of Israel who have been pasturing themselves! Should shepherds rather shepherd sheep?...You did not strengthen the weak nor heal the sick nor bind up the injured. You did not bring back the strayed nor seek the lost, but you lorded it over them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered for lack of a shepherd, and became food for the wild beast...For thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep." Ezekiel 34:1-11

God does not look kindly on those who were asigned to look after his people and were found lacking in their diligence and neglegent in their watchfulness. Even as I write these words and ponder this reading my heart sinks.

Even us shepherds need to be reminded, encouraged, directed, warned, chastised. Even us shepherds are in need of the Shepherd, "I myself will look after and tend my sheep."

It is often forgotten that even the shepherds assigned to such a noble task are themselves sheep in need of the Shepherd's voice, the Shepherd's staff, the Shepherd's warmth, the Shepherd's closeness, the Shepherd himself, nothing else will do.

In the words of Psalm 23, we shepherds rejoice that we have a Good Shepherd that seems to make up for what is lacking in us, He who guides us in right paths for his name sake, with whose rod and staff, courage descends and fills the soul.

Come Lord Jesus, refresh my soul, guide my feet that those who come to you may not be put to shame through me! Come Lord Jesus shepherd me!

The above image is the image of The Good Shepherd found in the Catcombs outside of Rome on the Ostia Way. It was the one image the early Christians clung to most. IT was the image of hope, peace, security, protection, defense. The Good Shepherd, whose soothing voice calms our fears as Psalm 94 calls to mind, "When I think I have lost my foothold, your mercy, Lord holds me up. When cares increase my heart your consolation calms my soul."

Words from Poep Benedict
"Our heats open to a hope that illumines and animates concrete existence: we have the certainty that the Gospel is not only a communication of things to be known, but a communication that produces deeds and changes lives. The dark door of time, the future is thrown open, Whoever has hope lives diffferently; he is given new life."

"And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come." Psalm 23...Shepherd me O God beyond my fears, beyond doubts, from death into life...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

on the camel's back

Ezekiel 28:1-10; Psalm It is I who deal deatha nd give life; Matthew 19:22-30

Here is a quote from G.K. Chesterton on the necessity of humility...

"Hence it became evident that if a man would make his world large, he must always be making himself small. Even the haughty visions, the tall cities, and the toppling pinnacles are the creations of humility. Giants that tread down forest like grass are the creations of humility. Towers that vanish upwards above the loneliest star are the creations of humility. For towers are not tall unless we look up at them; and giants are not giants unless they are larger than we. All this gigantesque imagination, which is, perhaps, the mightiest of the pleasures of man, is at bottom entirely humble. It is impossible without humility to enjoy anything-even pride."

Jesus in the gospel reminds us that it is "easier for a a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."

The rich are those whose world has become small, for everything is at there finger tips for the taking, and thus they have become bigger than life. It is this largness in their own estimation that in fact destroys them in the end. They have forgotten what it means to be small, to be amazed at the grandeur of life. They have been swept away by their own means of achievment and thus have have forgotten what it means to be dependent, to simply put, to look up.

Jesus invites us to become small, to be amazed by the wonder of it all. He invites us to never imagine ourselves bigger than life but to realize that life is really that large. He wants us to tremble at the vastness of the sea, the height of the mountains, the strangeness of the desert; he wants us to tremble at the beating of our hearts, the warmth of another's touch, the beauty of our psyche, the agility in our toes and the dexterity in our fingers; he wants us to look into a mirror and be in awe of such a gift that comes from another, that which we are never responsible for creating but only responsible for accepting as a gift from another.

Only then can we truly give it away. "For every one who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive..."

Smallness is necessary for us to realize just how big it all is; it is necessary so that we can begin to truly understand the words of the responsorial psalm, "It is I who deal death and give life."

In our smallness we can recognize the largness of God who loves us into existence, sustains us in life, and seeks to bring us home.

It is smallness that enables us to ride on the camel's back through the needle's eye into the Kingdom of God, not slouched in fear but riding erect with our heads held high, looking upward all the while..

Friday, August 13, 2010

munificentissimus Deus

Today we celebrate the Solmenity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Body and Soul into Heaven.

Here is the opening lines of the Apostolic Constituion that pronounces, declares and defines the Assumption to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory:

"The most bountiful God (munificentissimus Deus), who is Almighty, the plan of whose providence rests upon wisdom and love, tempers, in the secret purpose of his own mind the sorrows of peoples and of individual men by means of joys that He interposes in their lives from time to time, in such a way that, under different conditions and in different ways, all things may work together unto good for those who love him."

In order to temper our sorrows he gives us joys.

One of those joys that is meant to interpose in our life is the solemn celebration of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary body and soul into heaven.

This solemn Feast is meant to be an occassion of a more solemn joy imparted to the souls of those who celebrate.

An occassion of Joy...

St. Paul tells us that as the "Body of Christ" we should "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." That is, the joy experienced in one member should be an occassion of joy for all members. Thus, what the Blessed Mother experiences in the fullness of redemption, not suffering the effects of sin, corruption of the tomb, or never being reduced to ashes and dust is meant to be for us a joyful anticpation of what awaits us all.

Truly with this proclamation we can say that one like us is in heaven with God, union of body and soul. Her earthly life did not end in the grave but by the merits of Christ, the grace of redemption brings her home.

Thus the toil of her journey, the sword piercing her heart, the suffering of looking upon the face of Christ dying on the cross and dead in the tomb, is not lived in vain. Her "yes" to God gains for her the rewards of such a surrender.

To surrender to God is not an act in vain. But rather it bears fruit...
This is what the occassion of Joy is all about, for all of us who remain with our eyes fixed heavenwards.

Thus, May our reach always be beyond our grasp, for otherwise what's a heaven for!

Truly we can say Munificentissimus Deus, most bountiful God, who takes our surrender and turns it into Glory, thus our 'yes' to him becomes a 'yes' forever, Body and Soul united.

Words of Pope Benedict
"Here also we see the connection with the Immaculate Conception. It can perhaps be paraphrased like this: where the totality of grace is, there is the totality of salvation....What does the assumption of body and soul into heavenly glory mean? What, after all, does "immortality" mean? and what does "death" mean? Man is not immortal by his own power, but only in and through another...truly only in and from the Entirely-Other God.

Catechism of the Catholic Church
"The Asumtion of the Blessed Virgin is a singular particpation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Chrisians."

Mary Most Holy, Queen of Heaven and Earth, we look to you our life, our sweetness, and our hope; draw us onward with the sweetness of your voice, so that one day, after exile, you may show us Jesus, the blessed fruit of your womb. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, now and at the hour of our death, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.


ezekiel 16:1-15,60,63; Psalm (Is 12) you have turned from your anger; Matthew 19:3-12

Today we celebrate Friday the 13th. For 20 million plus in the world, today brings fear and anxiety. They suffer from a phobia that has been coined as the following, "friggatriskaidekaphobia."

It is a word that wa sinvented 99 years ago containng the greek and norse roots of the words "fear", "friday", and "13", hence we get "friggatriskaidekaphobia."

The number 13 is considered unlucky. 12 is considered a number of completeness, 12 months, 12 tribes of Israel, 12 hours in the clock, 12 Apostles, 12 eggs in a dozen. For whatever reason, going just a bit beyond completeness does something to the psche and causes anxiety and fear...perhaps it is too much to handle and thus we have the irrational fear of 13.

For whatever reason Friday the 13th seems to double the anxiety and fear of association. It creates a certain repugnance in the psyche...

Yet in the psalm today we hear the prophet speak those words of reassurance, "God indeed is my savior; I am confdent and unafraid."

Friday is far from unlucky. Friday is the day of the crucifixion; it is the day in which God's favor reached down from heaven and rescued us from our rational and irrational fears; friday remains a day in which we remember just how blessed we are.

Friday is the day superstition ended and love is victorious. Love alone now determines our destiny and for this we should leap for joy, break the mirrors, walk under ladders, chase the black cats and hold firm to the gift we have recieved: God anger last a moment but his favor last a lifetime.

Today we also celebrate the International Day of left-handers. There is about 15% of the population who are left-handed and my sister is one of them. Here is a quote i recently came across concenring left-handers: "Did you know? Right-handed people operate with the left side of the brain. Left-handed people operate with right side of the brain. Therefore, only left-handed people are in their right mind!"

Words of Ezekiel
"Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you when you were a girl, and I will set up an everlasting covenant with you, that you may remember and be covered with confusion,a nd that you may be utterly silenced for shame when I pardon you for all you have done, says the Lord."

May we blsuh with shame often and be red in the face as we remember just how merciful is our God.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

taking the plunge

Ezekiel 12:1-12; Psalm 78 Do not forget the works of the Lord; Matthew 18:21-19:1

Yesterday I came across a poem of sorts I thought I would share.

This is a poem by Bill Holm and part of the poem is as follows:

"...we caught the wrong metaphor. Real space is wet and underneath, the church of shark and whale and cod.
The noise of those vast lungs exhaling. The plain chanting of monkfish choirs. Heaven's not up but down, and hell is to evaporate in air. Salvation is to drown and breathe forever with the sea."

The part of the poem that is striking to me is the last sentence, "salvation is to drown and breathe with the sea."

Salvation is to drown....

I like that image of being completely immersed in the Goodness of God, being drowned and enveloped and learning to breathe anew in the newness of life. A place where i no longer have to hold my nose and hold my breath.

What does this have to do with today's readings?

Jesus in the gospel tackles the age old question, "How often must I forgive?"

How many times is too many times? When do I call it quits? When can I just walk away from the one who has wronged me, hurt me, let me hanging? How many times must I forgive? When is enough, enough?

The age old question encounters the age old answer, "seventy times seven."

It is not enough to dip our toe in the waters of forgiveness. It is not enough to go in ankle deep. In order to experience the fullness of forgiveness then we must jump in, we must be willing to drown.

Salvation is to drown and breathe forever with the sea....

We must be fully immersed and learn to breathe anew without holding our fingers on our noses, but plunging and taking deep breaths of that new kind of living where death comes by drowning in forgiveness and new life follows one breath at a time. And the waters of forgiveness awaken us, refreshen us, charge us to life.

Take the plunge, jump in over your head and experience the waves rush over you,

then truly we can begin to forgive from our hearts...

Quote I came across in college that has stuck with me:
"forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heal that crushes it."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


In today's gospel we here JEsus speak of what to do when someone wrongs you.

Now that should peak our interest.
What do we do when someone wrongs us?

Well, amazingly enough JEsus doesn't say we should gossip!

"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone..."

In other words, suck it up and be a "man" about it and take care of it. There is no reason to spread it around and let everyone else know without first letting the person involved know first and foremost.

Then JEsus says if this doesn't work get a few other guys to go along, as witnesses. In other words, bring some back up that might be able to better ease the transition of restitution and forgiveness.

If this doesn't work then get the church involved...that is let the priest know and invite him in on the conversation. Hopefully this will keep what is confidential, confidential and not harm others or their reputation.

Lastly, if all else fails, treat them as tax collector or Gentile. THis i always understood as treat them not as outcast but as those in need of the goodnews, thus offering them Christian charity.

Never does he mention gossip.

I found a insightful article on gossip i thought might be helpful for all of us...here is the link and if you like it please gossip and get the news out....click the word gossip for the link->Gossip

seek ye first

Ezekiel 9:1-7; 10:18-22; Psalm 113 the glory of the lord is higher than the skies; Matthew 18:15-20

Ezekiel, the prophet, hears the cry of God from heaven give orders to the heavenly helpers to go throughout the city and mark a "thau" on the forehead of those who moan and groan over the abominations that are practiced in the city and to all the others, to strike them down.

Quite a cry from heaven we are privy to through the prophet Ezekiel.

So what is with this marking, this "tav or thau" upon the forehead. The tav is the 22nd and last letter of the hebrew alphabet. It is believed to have origanted simply as a signature of a name. It represents truth and belonging to God's kingdom. The sign upon the forehead is represenative of those who have the correct attitude of life in trusting in God's divine will. Thus the mark is an indication of righteousness and moral uprightness and God's approval. Those who are lamenting the delcine of society have placed their trust in God alone. The mark on the forehead represents the grandeur of heart by which they seek to make amends for the despicable morality of all the rest.

It reminds us that we too should also in some way practice repentance for the sins of our society. Each day we should offer a little something in restituion. Perhaps a Rosary, a simple prayer, a moment of silence, a time of fasting in order to deepen our awareness of our dependence on God but also our role in sanctifying our society.

The people marked with the tav were those who were not only weeping over the sins of their society but were seeking continually to restore the uprightness of their societ as well. They were not just passive but active. They were seeking first the kingdom of God, and this seeking involved an active lament of failure and sin.

It is true to say that We can know what one seeks by what he chooses to cry over!
We are all familiar with "crying over spilt milk." These are those who cry for the wrong reason. But the people marked with the tav cry for all the right reasons.

A question for us:
What shows forth in our life that we belong to God and we seek his kingdom? What do we cry over? How do we seek first the kingdom?

Words from Pope Benedict

"The fool in the Bible, the one who does not want to learn from experience of visible things, that nothing lasts forever but that all things pass away, youth and physical strength, amenities and important roles. Making one's life depend on such an ephemeral reality is therefore foolishness. The person who trust in the Lord, on the other hands, does not fear the adversities of life, nor the inevitable reality of death: he is the person who has acquired a wsie heart, like the saints."

words from Saint Clare of assisi
"Happy indeed is she who is granted a place at the divine banquet, for she may cling with inmost heart to him whose beauty eternally awes the blessed host of heaven; to him whose love inspires love, whose contemplation refreshes, whose generosity satisfies, whose gentleness delights, whose memory shines sweetly as the dawn; to him whose fragrance revives the dead, and whos eglorious vision will bless all the citizens of that heavenly Jerusalem...look into that mirror daily and study well your reflection, that you may adorn yourself, mind and body, with an enveloping garment of every virtue, and thus find yourself attired in flowers and gowns befitting the daughter and most chaste bride of the king on high..."

Study well your reflection! Is there a markign on your forehead that shows you belong to God and you want his kingdom to come and his will to be done.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

resting on your laurels

Today in the church we celebrate the feast of St. Lawrence, the martyr and deacon of the early church. He is famous for having been "grilled" alive for his refusal to surrender his faith in Christ and his service to the church and the people of God.

The name Lawrence is a derivative from laurel, as in laurel tree. The laurel is an aromatic evergreen that is associated with the mediteranean sea.

It was the laurel leaves and branches that was woven as a crown and given as prizes in the Roman festivals in honor of Apollo. This is where the term "resting on one's laurels" originates, as the crown rested on one's head and thus the particpant or athlete was satisifed with his achievments. (today it denotes laziness to some degree)

In the Bible the laurel is an emblem of prosperity and fame.

In christianity it is a symbol of the resurretcion of Christ and the triumph of humanity.

Not to mention the laurel is the origin of the "bay leaves" used in cooking.

Nonetheless, having mentioned all this, it seems that St. Lawrence certain honored his name sake in the life he lived.

As a devout Christian his willingness to die for his faith certainly has merited him the crown of martyrdom, and thus he "rest on his laurels" in heaven. Not only this but his martyrdom continues to give off the aromatic flavor of divine love that through the ages shows forth true prosperity and fame and continues to echo forth the triumph of humanity that is the triumph of grace in the human soul borne witness if the life of every saint, especially, Saint Lawrence.

A few words from St. Augustin as he reflects on the life of St. Lawrence
"I tell you again, my brethren, that in the Lord's garden are to be found not only the roses of his martyrs. In there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of the wedded couples, and the violets of widows. On no account may any class of people despair thinking that God has not called them. Christ suffered for all. What the scriptures says of him is true: He desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth."

So don't just sit there on your laurels, run the race of faith, get out there today and bring the light of faith to the world, wielding only the grace of Christ, only then shall you finally rest on your laurels, thus receiving the crown that awaits us all who are perfected in the life of faith.

And remember the words of St. Paul, "God loves a cheerful giver." So live yor faith with a smile and think that perhaps St. Lawrence who gave his life did so with a smile as told his persecuters to turn him over he was done on that side.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Legend or legendary

These are the words that sum up the readings for today.

Legend is from the latin that simply means "things to be read." There is a legend on a map that helps us read the map and follow it. When we apply the word to people we are saying that the lives they love are suppose to help us read and examine lives and learn how to live.

These are people who took risks, healthy risks, steeped out and were willing to break new ground and open new horizons. They endured difficulties and tribulations but persevered.

We use the term loosely.

Often times we hear the term associated with athletes, legends of the game. These are guys who excelled through failure and setbacks with great determination. They opened new horizons for their sport. It wasn't that they had one great game but rather their career was stellar.

The likes of Michael Jordan, magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson changed the way the game was played. Or you could mention the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Eric Dickerson or Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, BEn HOgan or Muhammed ALi or Sugar Ray leonard. These are legends of the game. They are the standard, the guide, the means of motivation.

The list is longer of course.

There are legends in all aspect of society. The legends of Rock 'n Roll, the legends of Country Music and the likes.

What makes legends is that they were consistent.

The difference between Heroes and legends is important. Heroes are defined by moments of decisions. They rise to the occasion in time of difficulty or danger and take a stand, often giving their life. This is a special kind of courage.

Legends are those who invest their life. Longevity is the key. Their entire life is caught up, not just one moment.

To be great in one moment is no big feat, but to be consistently good, now that is legendary in deed.

As we look to Chapter 11 of the Letter of Hebrews, If i had to give a title, I would call it, The legends of Faith, legendary faithfulness. Chapter 11 contains a list of those who are known for taking risks, stepping out, breaking new ground in the life of faith and faithfulness.

St. Paul invites us to read their lives, examine and be motivated to do as they did. They were consistent throughout various circumstances and thus give us an example to follow. In fact he describes them as those who "died in faith" and those who "Gd was not ashamed to be called their God."

What a description.

Wouldn't that be great on an epitaph, written on the tombstone, "Died in faith: God is not ashamed to be called his God." THese are the things that true legends are made of. If The Old Testament figures could do what they did, and not know where God was taking them, how much more should we have the courage who know where we are headed.

For in Christ the end is made clear. We see in him, the end of our journey.

The word of JEsus ring true, "do not be afraid little ones, the Father is please to give you Kingdom. Go sell all you have and give alms...treasure in heaven awaits."

This is what motivate us to let nothing stand in our way. Do we want what the Father wants to give.

Then our life must show forth our hunger for that reality. Here we discover the legend in us all.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Daniel 7:9=10, 13-14; Psalm 97 the Lord is King, the most high over all the earth; 2 Peter 1:16-19; Luke 9:28-36

August has crept into our lives, which means summer is turning up the heat just for laughs knowing that its on its way out. Though, who am i kidding, we are in Texas and the one thing that is constant is the heat.

Nonetheless, August does give us somethings to think about while sweat drips from our forehead.

The month of august is filled with opportunities to enter more deeply into the mystery of God's revelation, God's plan of salvation.

August 1st, doctor of the church, st. Alphonsus Liguori
August 4th, Patron of Diocesan priest, st. John Vianney
August 5th, dedication of Basilica Mary Maggiore
August 6th, Transfiguration
August 7th, St. sixyus II or St. Cajetan
August 8th, st. dominic (preacher founded the dominican order, not to be confused with the dominican republic)
August 9th, st. Teresa Benedicta of the cross (aka Edith stein)
August 10th, st. Lawerence (deacon, grilled alive)
August 11th, st. clare (clare follower of st francis)
August 12th, st. Francis de Chantal (Follower of st. Francis de Sales)
August 13th, st. Pontian and Hippolytus
August 14th, st. Maximilian Mary Kolbe (gave his life in concentration camp)
August 15th, Assumpton of the Blessed Mother into Heaven
August 16th, st. Stephen of Hungry
August 19th, st. John eudes
August 20th, St. Bernard
August 21st, st. Pius X
August 22nd, Crowning of Blessed Mother Queen of Heaven
August 23rd, st. Rose of Lima (peru not bean)
August 24th, st. Bartholomew (made famous by Michelangelo in Last Judgment, holding his skin: clcik here for picture)
August 25th, St. Louis or st. Joseph Calasanz
August 27th, St. Monica, mother of st. augustine
August 28, st. augustine

(Click here for more info on saints above)
Why do I list all these things?

Well, today we celebrate the Feast of the transfiguration. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up Mt. Tabor and "while he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white...Peter and his companions had been overcome by sleep, but becoming fully awake, they saw his glory..."

We spend a lot of time in our society speaking of alternative fuel or alternative energy. But, Jesus in the transfiguration shows us the truest form of energy, as he stands illuminated by his conversaion, his prayer with the Father. The disicples are invited into this conversation, experience this glory and are "fully awake."

People brag about going green, perhaps we should start with a new slogan, in the words of Peter, "Master, it is good that we are here." It is good that we are with Jesus, the truest source of energy for our lives.

The list of saint feast days above shows us that Jesus' energy can be tapped into, and his grace and power can change lives for the better, for ever.

Imagine Jesus with arms outstretched illuminated on Mt Tabor just waiting for us to plug our selves in so that like Peter, James, and John we too might be aroused from our slumber and become "fully awake", fully charged with the grandeur of God flowing from Christ himself. (good description of what occurs at the Eucharist)

In the book of revelation, the New Jerusalem is described in these words, "the city had not need for sun or moon, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the lamb." rev 21:23

what an energy source!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

question of the day

As we turn toward the weekend getting ready for friday, saturday, sunday, Happy days...The Church invites us to reflect on Mary, the mother of God, as we celebrate the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of Mary Maggiore in Rome.

It is the oldest Church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, at least in the west. It was constructed shortly after the Council of Ephesus (431)in which the church agreed that Mary is "theotokos" that is the mother of God. Thus solidifying her important role in salvation history.

The Basilica is a bastion of peace and beauty, having had the opportunity several times to be there in person. Outside of St. Peter's Basilica, it is the Basilica that is the warmest and most peaceful. Though, a basilica dedicated to our mother could be nothing else.

In the Basilica outside of various works of art that are priceless, resides a relic of the Holy crib, the manger upon which Jesus laid in swaddling clothes. The crib is taken out at Christmas time for veneration and reflection.

And all of this began with the simple request of the angel Gabriel to Mary and to this request we remember the words, "Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to they word."

Certainly words worth recalling as we move toward the weekend. These words just might keep us from making foolish choices..."be it done to me according to thy word."

Then we look to the gospel of today. We hear that question of all questions posed to the apostles from the lips of Jesus himself.

Of the many questions that will fill our lives today and be carried throughout our lives on earth, this is the one question that will and should determine where we go from here...

"Who do you say that I am?"

This is the question that makes all questions seem unimportant and at the same time have meaning. Only in this question does our life begin to take shape.

"Who do you say that I am?"

Peter answered the question for all of us..."you are Christ the son of the living God."

But at some point we must answer the question for ourselves, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. At each moment of our life, by the choices we make the answer is proclaimed.

"Who do you say that I am?"

IF the church is correct in proclaiming Mary as "theotokos", mother of God, and we know the church is endowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit and cannot error in faith or morals then we should let her leads us to the answer we long for, for Mama won't lead us astray. IF she is mother of God then her son surely must be the son of the living God.

"You are the Christ, son of the living God."

Lead on, mama, lead on.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

audacity of God

Jeremiah 31:1-7; Psalm The Lord will guard us as a shepherd guards his flock; Matthew 15:21-28

today in the Church we celebrate the feast of St. John Vianney, patron of all diocesean priest.

Below are a few words from Pope Benedict in conclusion of the Year for the Priest dedicated to st. John Vianney

"The priest is not a mere office-holder, like those which every society needs in order to carry out certain functions. Instead, he does something which no human being can do of his own power: In Christ's name he speaks the words which absolve us from our sins and in this way he changes, starting with GOd, our entire life.

Over the offering of bread and wine he speaks Christ's words of thanksgiving...words that make Christ himself present, the Risen one, his body and blood...words that transform the elements of the world, openning the world to God and unite it to Him.

The priesthood is not simply "office" but sacrament. God makes use of us poormen in order to be, through us, present to all men and women, and act on their behalf. This audacity of God, who entrusts himself to human beings-who conscious of our weakness, nonetheless considers men capable of acting and being present in his stead.

This audacity of God is the true grandeur concealed in the word 'priesthood.'"

Words from Second Vatican Council: ministry and life of priests

"The holiness of priests is itself an important contribution to the fruitfulness of their ministry. It is true that God's grace can effect the work of salvation even through unworthy ministers, but God ordinarily prefers to show his wonders by means of those who are more submissive to the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and who through close union with Christ and holiness of life, are able to say with St. Paul: 'I live, but no longer is it I who live, it is Christ who lives within me.'"

Words from st. John Vianney

"This is the glorious duty of man: to pray and to love. If you pray and love, that is where a man's happiness lies...we had become unworthy to pray, but God in his goodness allowed us to speak with him. Our prayer is incense that gives him the greatest pleasure. Our hearts are small but prayer stretches them and makes them capable of loving God. Through prayer we recieve a foretaste of heaven and something of paradise comes down upon us..."

Today fall on your knees in prayer and open your heart to paradise.
Pray that we priest may be more and more courageously submissive to the Spirit of God and show forth his holiness to the world, that we may all be more and more courageously submissive and show forth that holiness that is demanded of God for us, "be holy, as I am holy (leviticus)."

St. John vianney pray for us.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22; Psalm 102 The Lord will build up Zion again, and appear in all his glory; Matthew 14:22-36

Again we listen to the words of Jeremiah:

"Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; there is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you...Why cry out over your wound? your pain is without relief..."

Jeremiah looks out into the world, his society, and he sees the destructive reality brought about by the people's choices. The moral decline as opened the city into a pit of destructive malaise. The words he proclaims over the city seem quite dismal indeed, "incurable is your wound."

Often times i look out into the society we live and i feel the same pessimistic sentiment fill my heart. I think, is this wound "incurable" that we have afflicted upon ourself, upon our children, upon our created world.

Looking out what do we see: oil spill in the ocean, devastation of our rain forest, violence and drug traffic on our borders, human slave trading and traffic around the world, wars and nuclear armament, genocide, murder of the unborn, sexual promiscuity and lack of reverence for the gift of sex and life, devastation in our families via divorce and abuse and lies and betrayals, the moral decline of movies and tv shows, practical porn on prime time, laziness and sloth in our children, absentee mothers and fathers, and the list goes on...

It can all be overwhelming...the wound seems incurable and the sore is certainly "running" as Jeremiah speaks of in his day, our day.

As per a conversation I had with a dear friend he asked "where are our heros", where are the ones we look to in order to garner hope in the presence of such decline, destruction, and devastation.

The only hope we have is Christ who bore our sins to the cross. By his wounds we have been healed. The wounds of the world must continually be brought to the wounded one himself.

For it is purity alone that absorbs the wickedness of the world... this is the message of the cross.

Only then do we encounter the strength to not just look for the heros, but to be that which brings light in the darkness: salt of the earth and light of the world must begin with the choices we make and the life we live in our search be pure for the world.

We are the ones that stop the bleeding by the faith we hold firm to and bring into a world like a vaccination, a remedy of sorts.

Purity absorbs the wickedness of the world, the salve that heals pours forth from faith in Christ the pure one himself.

"Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God."

"see what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet, so we are...we do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he pure." 1 John 3:1-3

We must fight for purity...fight for Christ.

For as Jeremiah concludes, "you shall be my people, and I will be your God." Only when we embrace this reality, live this fully, will the salve of grace begin to heal the wounds of nature.

Monday, August 2, 2010

dueling prophets

Jeremiah 28:1-17; Psalm 119 Lord, teach me your statues; Matthew 14:13-21

Often times in movies and books and the like as the plot unfolds there is usually defined a good guy and a bad guy.

By their actions and words we quickly discover whose who and whose on their side. Which normally means somewhere in the book or movie there will be a showdown.

The good guy will face the bad guy and there will be a fight of some sort.

Whether it a be a duel of ninja skills, or gun slinging, or fist fights or car racing or just a bout of wits in the end there is usually only one left standing...and most movies no matter how bad they are and most books no matter how contrived they seem, always lend the upper hand to the good guy, the one in white.

Well, today we have in the first reading, dueling prophets.

It is quite a scene. The prophet Jeremiah is currently under arrest for his prophesying doom on the land, all yoked up and no where to go.

When in walks the so called prophet Hananiah, the one bringing what seems to be good news. With his mouth wide open and confidence oozing from his posture, he tells the attentive ears that peace is coming that doom is no longer..."thus says the Lord, I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon...I will restore to this place all the vessels of the temple...i will bring back the the king of Judah and all the exiles."

And everyone was estatic. This was the news they longed to hear. They didn't care for Jeremiah's words of doom and gloom, they wanted that which made them feel good about themselves, even if they were living in sin and apostacy.

This scene sounds familiar. How many self proclaimed prophets stand before the people of God and speak foolishly in the name of God the words that the people want to hear, the words that make them feel good about their life, even if they are living contrary to God's will and plan for humanity.

How often we hear these prophets misinterpret the word of God and excuse the behavior of so many...

They have a following, they have confidence, they have charisma, they captivate and in the end, like the self proclaimed prophet Hananiah, they are wrong.

Hananiah in all of his confidence and in all of his charisma and in all of his bold proclamation of feel good message, in the end he hears these words from the prophet Jeremiah, "The Lord has not sent you, and you rasied false confidence in this people. For this, says the Lord, I will dispatch you from the face of the earth..."

The truth doesn't always initailly make us feel good. The real authentic prophet understands this. He or she knows that if you ever glimpse the passing truth, take a good look at her, so as to be quite sure you'll know her again; but don't expect her to make eyes at you. Gospel truth makes eyes at no one. And it is dangerous to get in conversation with any other 'sort' of truth, becasue you never know where that particular lady may have been gadding around before she met you...

When you catch the truth, the kind that is of use in saving souls, because there really is no other kind, show it to God first, take it to prayer at once. It is marvelous how different it looks when it has been purified by the gaze of truth himself. Sometimes you will scarecly recognize it when it has been washed in the wounds of Christ.

There are many self proclaimed prophets in the world whom ooze confidence and put on airs, they make eyes at the people and the people are captivated, but rememeber the truth makes eyes at know one and besure the one you listen too is sanctioned by God( the church Christ founded, even if it isn't pretty to look at)...and know that sometimes that truth isn't so easy to look at either (like Jeremiah arrested in a yoke or Jesus beaten and bruised)...but it is true nonetheless and it just might save your soul.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

: vanity of vanity

Ecclesiastes 1:2;2:21-23; Psalm 90 If today you hear his voice harden not your hearts; Colossians 3:1-5,9-11; Luke 12:13-21

Vanity of Vanity, all is vanity...the opening lines of todays first reading. It seems a bit over the top but what does it mean.

In order to understand what the words mean, it helps to know who is saying them.
Who is this mysterious 'Qoheleth" fellow and where doe she get off bringing us down with such a pessimistic attitude, "vanity of vanity, all is vanity."

Really, what is his deal anyway?

Qoheleth is a hebrew name that simply means one who speaks before a gathered assembly, could be preacher or could be just man with the gift of gap, a mere churchman who when has the opportunity will speak his mind.

It is believed that this Qoheleth fellow who is the author of Ecclesiastes is looking back on his life of many years and is giving a summation of what he learned by the life he lived.

He was a man of means. He was a man of fame and fortune. He was a man who indulged his sense in the pleasures of the world. He had everything at finger tips. As yo read ecclesiastes, you get the sens that the life he lived would make the lifestyles of the rich and famous of today seem like mere paupers.

He had it all and all he had.

Now at the end of his life he wants to teach the younger generation about life. Sounds like most older people. they know a little bit of what life has to offer and they are going to share regardless of who listens and who doesn't.

So sum up his life endeavor he tells us, "vanity of vanity all is vanity."

Now when we hear these words we think of vanity as someone who is caught up in there looks. Someone who can't walk by a mirror or a glass without checking out there reflection. They have all their life bottled up in their appearance.

Well, this isn't exactly what Qoheleth is talking about.

When he uses these words, this phrase, the Hebrew sense is more like following, "life as you know it is a waste of time, and you might as well just go head and die now."

think about that for a moment.

Here this old man is telling the younger generation that life is a waste of time...all of it is wasting away.

What a downer! Is this guy depressed? Does he need medication? Or is it meaningful for us today?

I have come across a similar bit of wisdom in my travels.

There is a church in rome that comes to mind. There in the Barberini district,a suburb of Rome, is a church, the immaculate conception, looked after by the friars of St. Francis. This church contains a crypt that has four rooms filled, or rather decorated with the bones of the friars who have long been deceased. Each room contains the bones and even full skeletons still wearing the robes of the friars.

It is quite a somber walk through.

At the end of the crypt, there is a sign written as is it is form the friars themselves and it states the following, "as you are now, we once were, as we are you, you shall be."

The friars are a lot like 'Qoheleth.' They want to remind us of our finally end, not to bring us down but to wake us up. They want us to realize the urgency of right now.

JEsus does this in the gospel as well.

The story of the rich man who stockpiles his goods. After he stores up all his excess, he decides to finally begin to enjoy life, "eat, drink, be merry." But before he gets the opportunity to indulge in his plans, God has other things in store, "you fool, this night your life is demanded of you, and what now happens to all your stuff."

Qoheleth, the friars, and JEsus all want to wake us up to reality. There are two important messages here.

One: don't wait to start to live. Live right now. Rarest commodity in life is the moment we are in. The future is never as secure as we think, hope, or dream.

The only moment that is secure is the one of today.

Think about how often, people work and slave for years and finally they get to retirement and they think the sweat of brow and the callouses of their hands have bought them time and they discover it isn't so. How often their plans get pushed aside Because of tragedy or sickness. And what they thought they would do never gets done.

We only have today.

Secondly: The message is this. Who we are is for more important than what we have. We should busy our self with creating space for stuff because in the end all that stuff will waste away and turn into dust. What we should busy ourselves with is developing a character that we will not be ashamed of int he end. Because who we are is the only thing we can take with us when we go.

Who we are will last forever while what we have will dissolve into dust in the grave.

It is who we are that should determine what we have and what we are willing to let go for the sake of honor and glory to come, not the other way around that is what we have should never determine who we are and how we live.

In the end, when Christ appears in glory, as St. Paul says, we too shall appear with him. In glory the only thing that comes with us is the legacy who we are and what we become with the gift of life we have received.

This is what it means to be rich in what matters to God.

Vanity of vanity all is vanity if we live wrong.