Wednesday, February 27, 2013

looking past the suffering

Matthew 20:17-28

Take a look at the gospel for today.

Jesus announces his impeding death: "The son of man will be handed over to the chief priest and the scribes, they will condemn him to death, hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and he will be raised on the last day."

Most of what Jesus says in the above sentence is negative, tragic, unbelievable cruel and violent. Look at the words used to describe the impending reality:handed over, condemned, mocked, scourged, crucified.

what would you do if an intimate companion came up to you and said those things?

Where would your heart find its rest with such imagery presented to it?

Yet, all the mother of James and John could think about was what her sons were going to gain out of it.  What was in it for her and her sons!  This is partly due to the  sons themselves.  They were the ones in the know.  Unless mom was eaves dropping, she only knew what are sons had told her.

How quickly the sons overlooked or looked pass the harsh reality forth coming.

I commend the mother for seeking to have her sons one at Jesus' right and left.  These are noble desires that all parents should have for their children.

But, what about the suffering?  What about the violence to be done to the one who they love and cherish?

How often are we like this mother and these sons and we look past the suffering?  How often do we look past the cost of salvation?  How often we treat grace as it was cheap?

We must not look past the suffering for it is only in the gift given can we truly begin to understand the beauty of is free but it is never cheap and nor should we cheapen it.

How often we want to get to the happy without going through the suffering?  This is why we are so noncommittal in our society.  We want to bypass any trial or suffering or diligent effort.  How like the sons we want to rush ahead and sit at the right and left avoiding the true cost of such a reward.

We should always look toward the resurrection and glory to come, but looking past the suffering means  we just don't get the depth, breath, length, and height of God's Love (Ephesians 3:18)

As I was journeying through Assisi visiting the Basilicas of St. Clare and St. Francis, I was struck by some of words I encountered near the crypt shared from St. Clare to her companions.  As you go in to the crypt to view St. Clare's body still lying in state as it did in the 13th century, on the walls are her advice to her companions then and to us now.  I was struck by one of her sayings.

It was the following:"totally love him who totally gave himself for love of us."
Totally love him who gave himself totally for love of you.

This is why we should not look past the suffering because then we look past the totality of the gift that ensures us of the breath, depth, height, and length of God's love.

Enter in to the suffering, never look past it.


"The greatest among you must be your servant.  Who ever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

the greatest among you must be your servant.

These are words from Christ yesterday.

But they are words that are good for every day, especially during the season of Lent.

What is at the heart of a true servant?

While I was in Rome, I was able to spend a few moments in the Church of St Augustine, where St. Monica is buried.  So to help understand what it means to be a servant i will enlist the help of St. Augustine himself:

"If you should ask me what are the ways of GOd, I would tell you that the first is humility, the second is humility, the third is still humility.  If humility does not precede all that we do, our efforts are fruitless."

These words are worth thinking about in regards to service.

As Christians, there is nothing beneath us, there is no act to lowly, except for that which is associated it with sinfulness.

Sin alone is the only act that we should frown upon.  All other acts no matter how menial they seem are instrumental in getting us ever closer to living our true greatness as servants of God most High.

Humility is about action.  We often have a common experience of those who speak but to not act.  How often have we heard, 'do as I say not as I do' as a mantra from those who are in our lives.

But this can not be for the Christian.  For us we do first, talk later.  What we practice becomes what we preach and this is where humility thrives.

What of the things St. Jose MAria Escriva speaks about is humility.  And he gives a list of things that helps us recognize when humility is not present.  Here are a few:

* thinking that what you do or say is better than others
*always wanting to get your own way
*insisting stubbornly or with bad manners
*not being aware that all the gift you have are on loan
*mentioning yourself as an example for others to imitate

my personal favorite: refusing to carry out menial tasks promptly and on time

This is the one that most of us need to be attentive to.

As a servant there is nothing to lowly but sin itself.  All acts are geared toward our own greatness as servants.

The greatest among you is the servant.

Ponder Jesus' invitation to greatness, and embrace the gift of humility: The ground from which all other virtues spring.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10; Ps 19 Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;  1 corinthians 12:12-30; Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21

Just a few words.

Right smack in the middle of the second reading, as St. Paul unfolds his understanding of church we get these words addressed to one of the earliest christian communities and for that matter addressed to us:  "You are Christ's body, and individually parts of it."

You are Christ's body....

Lets rearrange it a bit and see if we can drive home the point St. Paul is making.  You are the body of Christ.

There that's better.  Think in that.  You are the body of Christ.

We see parents all the time wanting to live vicariously through their children.  We especially see this in the sports world.

But want St. Paul is telling us is that Christ not only wants to but does in fact live through us.  Our body, our flesh and blood and bone now become his body.


St. Luke tells us in the gospel that "many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the vents that have been fulfilled among us, just as those who were eyewitnesses from the beginning and ministers of the word have handed them down to us, I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down orderly that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received."

St. Luke has picked up his pen to write the story of Christ.  He has chosen to do so for posterity sake, for the future.

St. Paul invites us todo the same.  When he tells us that we are the body of Christ, then he simply reminds us that the story of salvation, the story of God's intervention into history is no longer that which is kept on a written page but rather now is proclaimed through flesh and blood.

We now tell the story of Christ by the life we live.  It is our lives now that become the medium of execution to keep the story alive and to spread it forth into the future.

This is our task.  We pick up where St. Luke leaves off.  We must become story tellers with the life we live.  This is the most essential way of making sure that the story is not only told but truly is reliable and believable because it is witnessed in our life.

This how you are to pray

In today's gospel we encounter these words of Jesus right before he gives us the " Lord's Prayer" or as we say the "our Father": this how you are to pray.

As we think on those words for a minute, we must remember that prayer prepares the hearts for judgment. Prayer is what enables us to judge correctly as to our behavior.

Prayer prepares the heart for love in action.

If we pray wrong we live wrong.  Now some may say there is no such thing as praying wrong, but Jesus seems to think there is.  It is Jesus who says, " don't babble like the not be like them."

There is a right way to pray.  Jesus gives us the form of pray in the "Our Father."

It is the five finger prayer:
A: adoration. Our father who art in heaven, hallowed Be thy name
S: surrender. thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
K: knocking or kneading. Give us this day our daily bread
M: mold me. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us (make me my heart like yours)
E: escort or guide me. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.


Here is the prayer that forms our heart and mind to judge wisely the things of earth and to love the things of heaven.

As I make my way through Rome and Assissi, I encounter the remains of many devout men and women who pressed this prayer upon their lips numerous times and thus were able truly love in the proper order: God above all, then their neighbor, lastly themselves.

Prayer prepares the heart to love!

Monday, February 18, 2013


 So too day I celebrated mass at St. Peter's basilica near the bones of St Peter himself.

As we celebrated the mass I couldn't help but think of the many thousands of men and women through the ages of different culture,langue, back ground,etc that have entered St Peter's and participated one way or another in the mass.

Truly the university of the church came to mind.  It takes all kinds to build the kingdom of God and rightly so.

As we think about the numerous multitude that has participated in the life of faith, it was fitting to read the gospel of Matthew 25, where Jesus instructs us on the last things and reminds us about judgment.

What you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters you have done for me.

Our judgment begins with what we judge to do or not do for those near to us.

The beauty of the gospel reminds us that the righteous did not know they were doing for Christ but rather they simply did out of deep compassion and love.  Unaware they made themselves ready for heaven.

We, however, unlike them have no excuse to go through life unaware. We have been told.  We have been shown.  The path before us has been laid clearly before us: what you do for the least you do to me.

These were the marching orders of mother Teresa.  She would often say the five finger gospel as a clarion call for clarity and boldness : you did it to me.

If we keep these words before us as a measure of our judgment than judgment itself will be no surprise. Unlike the figures in the gospel who were surprised and asked the question, "when Lord did we see you naked, sick, imprisoned, lonely, helpless, abandoned..."

We know the answer already.  Should we not let the answer motivate us to a new way of life.

Who are the least?  Lets assume everyone.  Then of course this makes it a lot easier to just get busy with loving.  Then our judgment won't hinder love but enable it, and even encourage it each step of the way.

From Rome...ciao

Friday, February 15, 2013

Rome on holiday

Isaiah 58:1-9; ps 51 a contrite and humble heart, o god, you will not spurn; Matthew 9:14-15

"And then they will fast"

These are the words that conclude the gospel for this first Friday of Lent.  We have started our 40 day ritual of seeking to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, fasting and emoting ourselves of all those attachments that have kept us grounded, that have weighed us down and even held us back from running the race faithfully and true.

"And then they will fast"

Fasting is an important tool.  It is a necessary discipline that is incorporated in the arsenal we use to fight that constant on slaughter of selfishness we have to face daily.

As we fast, this saying no to a variety of goods, we direct our mind to the highest good and thus we seek the strength to say 'yes' to Him.

We fast from ourself, so to take possession of ourself and then give ourself to Him above.

"And then they will fast".

It is strange to be thinking of fasting as I sit here just beyond the piazza Navona here in campo di fiori    In Rome.  Perhaps it seems a strange place to spend the first week of Lent.

The wine and cheese and pasta beckon at every corner.  Food is everywhere as I see to fast.  It was much easier in my rectory where there is hardly any temptations at all.  But here the smells are truly captivating.  The food is enticing.  Yet, fasting must commence.

I think of the book, Eat, pray, love.  I think the author got it wrong.

It isn't indulgence that leads to self awareness but just the opposite.  It is exactly in withholding ourself, restraining ourself we are more able to understand who we are called to be.  In fasting, we discover our inner strength, Christ who lives with in us.

This is the reason for lent, that we may let go finally of our self sufficiency a d truly rely on Him who is all in all.

From Rome, happy fasting.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Words from the Pope on the elderly

I come to you as Bishop of Rome, but also as an old man visiting his peers. It would be superfluous to say that I am well acquainted with the difficulties, problems and limitations of this age and I know that for many these difficulties are more acute due to the economic crisis. At times, at a certain age, one may look back nostalgically at the time of our youth when we were fresh and planning for the future. Thus at times our gaze is veiled by sadness, seeing this phase of life as the time of sunset. This morning, addressing all the elderly in spirit, although I am aware of the difficulties that our age entails I would like to tell you with deep conviction: it is beautiful to be old! At every phase of life it is necessary to be able to discover the presence and blessing of the Lord and the riches they bring. We must never let ourselves be imprisoned by sorrow! We have received the gift of longevity. Living is beautiful even at our age, despite some “aches and pains” and a few limitations. In our faces may there always be the joy of feeling loved by God and not sadness. 
In the Bible longevity is considered a blessing of God; today this blessing is widespread and must be seen as a gift to appreciate and to make the most of. And yet frequently society dominated by the logic of efficiency and gain does not accept it as such: on the contrary it frequently rejects it, viewing the elderly as non-productive or useless. All too often we hear about the suffering of those who are marginalized, who live far from home or in loneliness. I think there should be greater commitment, starting with families and public institutions, to ensure that the elderly be able to stay in their own homes. The wisdom of life, of which we are bearers, is a great wealth. The quality of a society, I mean of a civilization, is also judged by how it treats elderly people and by the place it gives them in community life. Those who make room for the elderly make room for life! Those who welcome the elderly welcome life! ... When life becomes frail, in the years of old age, it never loses its value and its dignity: each one of us, at any stage of life, is wanted and loved by God, each one is important and necessary. 
Dear friends, at our age we often experience the need of the help of others; and this also happens to the Pope. In the Gospel we read that Jesus told the Apostle Peter: “when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go” (Jn 21:18). The Lord was referring to the way in which the Apostle was to witness to his faith to the point of martyrdom, but this sentence makes us think about that fact that the need for help is a condition of the elderly. I would like to ask you to seek in this too a gift of the Lord, because being sustained and accompanied, feeling the affection of others is a grace! This is important in every stage of life: no one can live alone and without help; the human being is relational. And in this case I see, with pleasure, that all those who help and all those who are helped form one family, whose lifeblood is love. 
Dear elderly brothers and sisters, the days sometimes seem long and empty, with difficulties, few engagements and few meetings; never feel down at heart: you are a wealth for society, even in suffering and sickness. And this phase of life is also a gift for deepening the relationship with God.... Do not forget that one of the valuable resources you possess is the essential one of prayer: become interceders with God, praying with faith and with constancy. Pray for the Church, and pray for me, for the needs of the world, for the poor, so that there may be no more violence in the world. The prayers of the elderly can protect the world, helping it, perhaps more effectively than collective anxiety. Today I would like to entrust to your prayers the good of the Church and peace in the world. The Pope loves you and relies on all of you! May you feel beloved by God and know how to bring a ray of God’s love to this society of ours, often so individualistic and so efficiency-oriented. And God will always be with you and with all those who support you with their affection and their help.

Enough said.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Below is a poem I came across.....

The bumblebee crept out on the stone steps.
No roses. Nothing to gather.
Nothing but itself, the cold air,
and the spring light.
It rubbed its legs together
as if it wished to start a fire
and wear its warmth.
Under its smart yellow bands
the black body shone like patent leather.
It groomed itself, like a pilot
ready for takeoff and yet not ready:
when my shadow fell over him
he flicked his wings, checking them,
and took off into the bare garden.

It was the shadow that caused the bee to take flight.  

How often do we experience this in nature? How often does our shadow cause the things of nature to stir.

The shadow gets them moving,gets them out of their comfort zone, gets them off their butts and get busy with life.

So too must the shadows that cross our path gets us moving, get us off our butt and get busy with life.

The shadows remind us ultimately not of darkness but of the presence of  light.

Recall the words of  today's first reading, "thenGod said, let there be light,and there was light." 

Shadows are not bad but rather they point us toward light and more importantly the creator of light and thus we are able to take off and head in the right direction.

Today be thankful for shadows.

whose the expert

Isaiah 6:1-2,3-8; In the sight of your angels I will sing your praises Lord; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Luke 5:1-11

How many of us pride ourselves on being experts in life?  How many of us pride ourselves in knowing how to life, what to do, where to go, how to make things work?

Our society is filled with specialist and experts.

I love to watch a experts at work.
When we were adding on to the church, i would often sit and watch the masonry guys put the stone on the church.  I would watch them with the hammer and chisel and slowly piece the stone together like a  giant puzzle.

I love to watch expert carpenters work as well.  Recently we renovated the rectory.  The guys were tedious in their labor.  The way they took down walls with such care with our leaving a bit of dust and trash behind was impressive.  If it was left to me, I would have just used a sledge hammer.

Experts are a marvel.  Yet sometimes it can be a problem.

How often does our expertise interfere with God's plan unfolding in our life?
SOmetimes the pursuit of perfection and the sense of knowing it all can be problematic.

The gospel for today pokes at that reality, which makes it instrumental for understanding the spiritual life and the development of faith as we journey through life.

First step: JEsus gets into Peter's boat uninvited.  Jesus invades Peter's space and time.  Unsolicited God enter in to take possession, to take over the reigns.  This is important.

In our own life, God will enter in unsolicited, unsuspecting to take over the reigns.

Jesus uses this moment to proclaim his message.  Peter's boat, his lifestyle and livelihood become a sounding board for his saving message.  So too does JEsus want to make use of our livelihoods.

Step Two: Peter is invited to go out into the deep.  This grates against Peter's expertise.

Peter, remember, is the expert fisherman.  It is his job to know when to fish and when not to fish; it is his job to know where to fish and where not to fish.

Peter and his boys had been fishing all night.  They labored through the night and caught nothing.  The expert knows that night time is the ideal fishing time.  He also knows that if he caught nothing at night then he will most certainly catch nothing in broad day light.

Peter also knows that the ideal spot for fishing is along the shore in the shallows where there is plenty of food for the fish, both weeds and bait.  How often have I gone fishing and we have found ourselves chasing the bait. There is nothing out in the empty deep water.

The one thing the expert fisherman knows is both the prime time and prime place for fishing.

third step: Peter was tired and exhausted from the night's work.  Both physically and emotionally worn out, he had every reason to say no.  He knew he was pushing it to send the boys out again after they had just clean the nets.

Jesus was choosing neither the right time nor the right place.  JEsus also seemed to be little concerned with the physical toil and exhaustion.  Everything seem to be wrong, yet it had never been more ideal.

So Peter is reluctant.  How often have been reluctant?  How often have we relied on our own expertise?

Yet, Peter even in his expertise is willing to keep his own judgment in check.
Peter  even in his expertise is willing to recognize the limits of his own judgment about what should be done and how it should be done.

In fact it is when we are ready to admit the limits of our own human judgments that we open ourselves up to a greater experience of God's goodness and a deeper knowledge of ourselves.

Seldom has there more beautiful words spoken in the bible then the words of Peter in today's gospel: "Master we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets."

But at your command I will lower the nets.

When it comes to belief it isn't so much what we believe but rather who we believe!

Who we believe validates what we believe.  It is never about what we think or what we suppose or how we think it should go but about what God has revealed, what has he spoken.
How often do to many think they are experts when it comes to God's revelation?

But at your command I will lower the nets.

What a beautiful invitation for us.

From that point on, Peter leaves everything and becomes a fisher of men.

He goes from making live fish dead to dead men alive.

What about us?

A Prayer:

"Take my boat Lord, enter into my life, use it to preach your saving message; when my judgment is limited may your generosity shine through; when I think I’m the expert may you humble  me true; when my natural capacity has been exhausted may you open the way  for your supernatural light be ever more bright; Lord take my life and may it bring forth your goodness more and more and let everything be fore you.  Amen!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

entertaining angels

Hebrews 13:1-8

I love this passage from St. Paul.  It is always striking to me.  It goes against our cultural view and conventional wisdom.

How often when i was growing up i would hear the following out of the mouths of my teachers, my parents, my aunts and uncles, and my teachers again and so on so forth..."stranger danger."

Kids today continue to speak that.  We are taught and we teach them to avoid strangers, to be cautious, to watch out, be on guard.

Especially today with the rise of violence and the unsettling reality of attacks on the innocent.  Every one is stock piling guns and getting ready to defend themselves.

On the radio we hear all about the gun laws and gun regulation and the 2nd Amendment.

Yet, St. Paul directs our gaze in a holier direction.  Listen to his words, "Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels."

That is a far cry from stranger danger.

What are we to do?  Should we be cautious?  Should we be on guard?  Should we be suspicious of every one who comes our way that is unfamiliar?

Should we be hospitable?

Hospitable is a good word for us to ponder this friday as we move toward Lent.

Hospitable: given to generous and cordial reception of guest, offering a pleasant environment.

Something to think about as we turn toward the weekend.

How do we receive others in our midst?

Secondly the word angel simply means messenger.
Angels are in deed messengers of God's will in our life.  Often times we think of heavenly messengers mingling with us here and now.

But God can also use the "two legged" kind to deliver a message as well.   Regular people like you and me can be God's messengers.   Think about all the people we meet on a regular basis.  Do we receive them?  Are we open to perhaps how God is using them in our life to speak to us?

We want to be especially open to those people we think are unfit or unworthy of our space and time.  These also God can use.

Be on the look out for 100% chance of angels coming your way.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Mark 6:7-13

Summoned!  JEsus calls the Twelve to his side in order to send them forth.  This is important.  We are not called to be close to JEsus for our sake.  We are called to draw close so that we might live for the sake of others.

I often speak to people who are yearning for the special encounter or experience with JEsus.  They speak of wanting a unique "religious" experience to validate their faith, to validate their journey, to solidify their relationship with God.  They believe that somehow this kind of experience will make their faith worthwhile for themselves.

But we are not in it for ourselves.  We draw close so that we might bring others closer to God.

As a priest friend once spoke of:  He  mentioned that often times we have the gold medal mentality.  We want to bring home the gold.  We do not want to settle for silver or bronze.  But in the life of faith we are expected to finish third every time.

The gold medal always goes to God.  We are called to love him with all our heart, soul, mind, strength. Ultimately the victory we experience in the life of faith belongs to him and his power.

The silver is always meant for our neighbor.  The second commandment is like it, to love our neighbor as our selves.  To often we focus on ourselves first, especially since the development of self help psychology.  But when we focus on our neighbor we find ourselves experiencing love toward ourselves.  Love direct outward always comes back to ourselves.

No.  We get Bronze.  In getting bronze we finally get what it was all about in the first place.

We are destine for Bronze and only then can we truly get what we always wanted.

We are summoned to be for others: cast out demons, cure the sick, bring the good news.
And we are to take nothing for the journey: we need a walking stick but not a crutch to keep us from investing ourselves in the process of being transformed by the journey of faith we are on.

Summoned we are; sent forth we go.  We preach repentance that is change by being changed ourselves along the way.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The donkey or the Lion

Hebrews 11:32-40; Mark 5:1-20

"Brothers and sisters What more shall I say?"

These are the opening lines of St. Paul in today's first reading.  St. PAul has been telling stories of the great men of faith in this particular chapter of Hebrews.

Chapter 11 begins with these words, "only faith  can guarantee the blessings that we hope for, or prove the existence of realities unseen..."

Only faith can guarantee the blessings we hoped for.

Following this opening salvo St. Paul goes on to tell the story of the great men and women of faith through out scripture.  Salvation history id filled with persons of faith.  It is our faith that must become our garment.

As you take time to read chapter 11 and ponder the stories of faith, here is a another story from Pope John Paul I.

"There once was a donkey that covered himself in a lion's skin.  Everyone said, "what a Lion!"  Men and animal alike fled from his presence.  But the wind picked up and blew and the draft lifted the skin upward and everyone saw the ass."

Let's make sure it is faith we wear and not just a token garment to look good for the crowd.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

willed, loved, necessary

Jeremiah 1:4-5,17-19; Ps 71 I will sing of your salvation; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13; Luke 4:21-30

"The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you..."

These are the words of the first reading today.  As I was pondering these words I could not help but recall words spoken by Pope Benedict XVI in his inaugural homily as the Vicar of Christ on earth.

On April 24, 2005, Pope Benedict spoke these words to begin his role as the Pope, Successor to Peter, Vicar of Christ: "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.  Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary..."

When is the last time you thought of yourself as willed, loved, necessary.

We are reminded as the LORD speaks to Jeremiah that in deed our existence though contingent is infinitely wrapped up in the love of God which not only calls us into existence but sustains us and assures of of existence.

We are willed, we are loved, we are necessary.

Each of us are important, because we are important to him.

This is truly worth thinking about often.

In today's second reading we are invited to dive into a deeper understanding of love.

We are presented with the beautiful hymn of love St. Paul gives to us, that very hymn that is often chosen to be read at weddings.  In fact, the wedding I performed just today included this reading:

"Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Love is not jealous, it i snot pompous, it i snot inflated, it i snot rude, it does not seek its own interest, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails..."

This is the heart of the passage.  What would the world look like if we tapped into this power of love?  How would our lives be different if this is the love we practiced?

Lets look at the positive attributes of love

Patient: long suffering...the willingness wot endure calmly difficulty, annoyance, pain
Kind: warm or well disposed to the other; gentle and gracious; it also suggest a thought toward the health of the other.  One who seeks that which ensures the best of health of the other is kind.  Doctors are kind in so far as they seek to restore the body to health.
Rejoices in the truth: Where do we find our joy or source of rejoicing?

It bears all, believes all, endures all...
St. Paul reminds us that love resides in the will.  This is where God's grace comes in to transform us.

The will's work is to love-to choose, to decide, to act.  This is sanctity.

St. Paul opens up to us the depth of love.  It cannot completely be defined but we can recognize it by its attributes: not jealous, not pompous, not not inflated, not rude, not quick-tempered, not brooding over injury, not rejoicing over wrong doing....

We should examine our life.  Where is love seeking to sprout forth?  Where have we refused it entrance into out lives?

SImply put love is to will the good of the other for the sake of the other; it is outward not inward.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Hebrews 10:32-39; Ps 37 The salvation of the just comes from the Lord; Mark 4:26-34

"Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a great contest of suffering.  At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and affliction...and other times you associated with those so treated.  You even joined in the sufferings of those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, knowing that you had a better and lasting possession.  Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have a great recompense.  You need endurance to do the will of God and receive what he has promised...We are not among those who draw back and perish, but among those who have faith and will possess life."

How much of what we do is determined by Heaven?

How much of what we do is shaped by the reward that is promised?

How much of how we live radiates the joys of the final gladness that awaits?

How do we let Heaven, that better and lasting possession, change what we cling to here and now and what we let go of?

Where is our confidence?  Where is our center of gravity for our life?

Or do we draw back?

As Jesus tells the parable in the gospel of Mark today, he mentions the Kingdom of God is like a seed that is scattered on the man knows not how  the seed would sprout and grow but  in the end the grain shall be ripe and harvested.

How much of our life is sowing seeds that we will never see to fruition?  How much of our life is setting examples for future generations not sure about whether or not it will really matter?

The bottom line it is not for us to determine the outcome but rather focus on the outcome that lies at the end and let it determine the seed that is thrown by the life that we live.

That Better and Lasting possession awaits so we grab our bag of seed and we get busy day in day out scattering those seeds, setting those examples, living the discipline life of Christ, enduring the affliction, keeping our head up and our back strong as we move forward always with eyes fixed on the prize.