Your Name We Bear…

March 29, 2019

“ You are in our midst , O Lord

your name we bear;

do not forsake us, O Lord, our God ! “

( Jeremiah 14:9a )

In this reading, Jeremiah, is talking to God, lamenting the state of things in Jerusalem.

At this time there is a great drought that has befallen them, and so much so that event the wild animals are abandoning their young because there is not even grass in the fields from which they can get any water or nourishment.

The Lord is saying to Jeremiah that because here again after bringing them into the promised land they again have turned from God. In fact. The good news does not end at the famine.. God tells Jeremiah a bit later on and there will be pillaging and people dying on the sword, and just in case that was not enough there might be some cannibalism going on for lack of food and water..

Jeremiah is doing some heavy duty pleading here. God is not interested. The covenant has been broken and the Almighty is going to try a little righteous indignation and not really interested in what Jeremiah has to say. It is not until (much) later that God relents and reconciles with the Jerusalem again.

So what is it that we can take from this. In this shortened scripture reading, we know that God is in our midst. The question arises though, do we always take note of that fact ?

God is omni present. Everywhere at all times, in all places. In our work, and in our homes, in our churches, in our backyards, at the dinner table, and at the conference table and even when we feel like we are all alone.. We need to take note of the presence of God because in the daily troddings we undertake, it is far too easy to get involved in , or get our heads stuck in the tunnel vision that is our day to day life.

In making a practice of taking in the presence of God in our lives we become aware more and more of the beauty in our world We begin to live in a more deliberate way… in a more loving way.

As a young man I used to go out into a wildlife refuge not far from my house in order to clear my head One day a friend asked to come with me. He began to point out different things.. Birds and plants…

I began to recognize more and more of the diversity and beauty God had created in the woods that previously only held quiet for me. The more I saw.. the more I learned. The more I learned the more I appreciated and loved the beauty in my little corner of the world.

“.. Your name we bear ; “

We bear the name of Jesus Christ…. Christian.. we are part of His family. We need to be conscious of the name of the Most High and how it is that we represent and share that name with our brothers and sisters.. We belong to Him. We have His Sacred Heart..

“ Do not forsake us, O Lord, our God. “ In desperation is this cry made.. Sometimes we get between rock and a hard place, we have an immediate need. For friends, for family or even our own dire situation. Even in the storm, He is there. Do not have fear ! Do not be afraid because God is there. He already has a victory not only for the Kingdom but for you as well. God loves each one and because He loves you, He has planned only your good.. Be still Be at peace. Be in the heart of God.

May God give you the gift of His peace !


May He Preserve You …

March 22, 2019

“May the God of peace make you perfect in holiness. May he preserve you whole and entire, spirit, soul and body , irreproachable at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. “

( 1 Thessalonians 5:23 )

In this passage the apostle Paul is writing to the Thessalonians and in this passage he is writing to both encourage and admonish the brothers and sisters there, to prepare themselves for the coming of the Lord.

There 3 admonitions that Paul was conveying in this letter. First, that we should rejoice in all things , the good and the bad. This is true specifically because even in the bad times and when we struggle, or when we feel tested, it is all for our good, and in fact, some greater good will come out of the bad even if we are not able to see it. Ultimately , we know that God has already won the victory and that given that we lead holy lives, that we will obtain Heaven after this life.

The second admonition is that we should pray continuously. To pray without ceasing is not mean we have to spend every hour of every day at church or at home in prayer without doing anything else. If we take time to pray during our day, we find ourselves constantly drawn into the process of constantly becoming more and more aware of God in our daily life. We pray for things that are about to happen, and those things have happened, things we need, or desire. We find that the more we pray, the more it is that God makes it easier to recognize a time for prayer throughout our day. Paying is our giving of our free will towards God and His glory. At all times, even when we are hurt, wanting and needy, we still give God glory in our prayer recognizing that He is God and that He loves us unconditionally.

The third admonition is that we should give thanks to God in all things. This again because all of these things are for our greater good. God’s greatest desire is for mankind to be in Heaven with Him. In the vastness of time and space and all things created, God chose you, to share Heaven with Him. God created you, formed you, and set things in motion specifically so that He could share eternal life with YOU !

It’s almost like going into a family business. You know what you are going to do, and eventually you will run the place with your brothers and sisters. There will be good days, and bad days. There will be customers who come in, like others in our daily lives some need help, others come in for a time and leave. Some don’t know what they want. Some might even become part of the family. In the end the family endures, and can give thanks once again for all that happens and for each other. The boss looks out for you all, since you are family, and he only wants whats best for you and for the rest of the family … The best part is that like all family businesses, he wants everyone to be family !

My prayer for you all, just as Paul’s was for the Thessalonians that God will preserve you in your daily struggles , and give you the strength and the graces necessary, to preserve you in holiness. Give you right faith, and true joy. That in prayer, word, and deed, you orient your life towards God, and in the times when you struggle, when life itself seems like a daily fight. When it is hard to see the good, either in others or even in yourself. God still does ! It at the times when we struggle the most that God is closest , and working with us. We have already won all we have to do is have faith, to walk through the fires of this life, and to love.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Sun Must Not Go Down on Your Anger…

March 15, 2019

“ If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you “.

( Ephesians 4:26 )

If you are like a number of our brothers and sisters, anger has to be one of the biggest issues we deal with on a day to day basis. It also is likely one of the more misunderstood things we deal with. Anger is the emotion the at arises out of the perception of an injustice. The problem with anger arises out of the spirit of the 5th Commandment ( Thou shalt not kill ) .

We are called to love our neighbor. It is born out of that love that we it is our commitment not to cause harm to any brother or sister. It is this basis that calls us to work for the good of the other, even when they initially wish to do evil. The point is the desire to the good of the other. Our actions need to conform with our desires to create union and peace with all creation.

In this passage the problem that Paul is trying to address is the anger ( the perception of injustice) when our reaction to that perception causes us to take some form of action, or desire that is harmful to the other party.

” By recalling the commandment, “You shall not kill,”94 our Lord asked for peace of heart and denounced murderous anger and hatred as immoral.

Anger is a desire for revenge. “To desire vengeance in order to do evil to someone who should be punished is illicit,” but it is praiseworthy to impose restitution “to correct vices and maintain justice. If anger reaches the point of a deliberate desire to kill or seriously wound a neighbor, it is gravely against charity; it is a mortal sin. The Lord says, “Everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment.”

( CCC # 2302 )

As Franciscans, it is our desire, and out chrism to be peacemakers, and bridge builders. It is our call as Christians as well to work to maintain the possibility of relationship. To leave open the path of communication where ever possible. In this way that brother or sister has time to engage in the idea of reconciliation and to rebuild what is lost.

The idea that anger becomes sin begins at the point at which we loose control of our passion or emotion and allow ourselves to fall prey to our own fallen nature and cause or desire for harm to happen to another person.

Peace is the work of justice and the effect of charity. “ ( CCC #2304 )

Making peace with our brothers and sisters is the natural abstraction of the commandment to “Love thy neighbor” even when it is difficult, and even when it hurts. To leave open the path of communication and reconciliation is the only way we can truly search for and see the face of Christ in our brothers and sisters… To the glory of God.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger. Do not give the Devil a chance to work on you “.

Many people give young married couples the advice to never go to bed angry. It is good advice. It also is good advice for others ( if possible). You can rationalize it by the idea that you might not see that person ever again or even just rarely.

If we hold on to anger, it festers within us, Satan plants in doubt and in the mind attempts to get us to think the worst of the other, and fear and anxiety creeps in.

I grew up in a small town, my mother used to say, “You need to nice to everyone, because everyone is related to someone or is friends with someone. “. For the town where I lived that was pretty much true. The world for as big as it is, is getting smaller and smaller through electronic communications, social media , etc. Even if this were not the case, it is not only for the other person that you should do this. It is for your own sake as well. No one acts or receives the effects of an action alone. The other person also carries the imprint of the Most High. The other person is still our brother or sister, the other person is still in need of as much forgiveness as we are ourselves. The other person still needs love. By leaving open the channel of communication, we hold on to hope, we hold on to love.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Devil is Prowling Like a Roaring Lion

March 8, 2019

“Stay sober and alert, You opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him solid in your faith. “

( 1 Peter 5:8 )

Many times we come across the readings that are fed to us again and again, they seem to rudimentary, so simple. At the times when we believe that we have no time.. these sound more like directives. Things that are simple commands to be followed.

We as followers of Christ are called into the deep. As with many things in our spiritual lives we begin with things that are rudimentary, and we consume the “milk “ food that given to us. Sure, it is enough to sustain us in our infancy, at the point where our journeys begin. These points of information, the points at which we enter into our faith are the end, as a directive would be. No , indeed it is the beginning ! We are called into the heart of message. We are called into a time when we can take that

“milk” that we are given, and through our own searching, through prayer, and through our discernment seeing of the true face of God , we can get to the root of the deeper meaning, the root of the message we are given..

“ Stay Sober and Alert”..

There is more than one definition of Sober. In recent times it has been solidified to mean that someone is free from the effects of alcohol. It does however have another meaning which is entirely different that its colloquial meaning. Sober means to remain serious, sensible or solemn. As in pragmatic, controlled, measured.

This does not mean that we should be restrained in our faith, in deed we should be joyous in our faith.. We also need to be serious and solemn about it as well. God gave us the gift of an intellect. He gave us free will. He gave us the tools we need to reach out to seek Him in all of creation.

Many times if you talk to a scientist you will find that we as a society know a great deal We have a vast amount of knowledge but even in the vastness of that knowledge.. even in how great we consider that knowledge is, and how much we may know.. it still pales in comparison to what it is that we just don’t know, or cant explain, and in the end we are still left with faith.

I have heard it said that we don’t need to understand the reasons behind our faith, just that we have faith. The truth is that God has blessed each of us with the gift of an intellect. It is sinful not to use that gift to seek out the God who dwells with us.

“ You opponent the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “

Satan wants to keep you from God. He does not want you to know Him, or seek Him out. He wants you to be lazy and comfortable. That is where he begins to plant things in your mind and tell you lies to bring you astray.

Your mind is busy with things of this world, your job, your chores, your physical trappings, and the chasing the riches of this world. Its easy.. sure. Give in..take the easy way..

Living a life of faith is hard. Its hard for a reason ! The life of faith goes against the path of least resistance. It goes against what the world tells you is good and right.. It is easy to get bogged down in the fight of right and wrong and world does not make it easy for us either ! BUT…..

“ Resist him solid in your faith. “…

The best part of our faith is that we already know that we have won ! The battle is done and over with. All that is left is for us to do our part. We need to do that parts that are left for us to do. God already has the rest in hand. All you need to do is to do your part and have faith… God is in charge !

Go out into the world. Take charge of your faith and use the gifts that God has given you ! Ask the hard questions ! Do not be embarrassed because you think your question is dumb or you don’t want others to know that you don’t know the answer. THAT is Satan trying to keep you from your faith.

Keep asking the questions until you get an answer and don’t be afraid to ask more than one person.

“Seek advice from every wise man, and do not despise any useful counsel. Bless the Lord God on every occasion; ask him that your ways may be made straight and that all your paths and plans may prosper. “

( Tobit 4: 18-19 )

May God give you the gift of His peace !

God Has Destined Us For Acquiring Salvation…

February 22, 2019

“ God has destined us for acquiring salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep, together might live with Him. “

( 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 )

“God has destined us for salvation…” It is hard to get more plain than that. It is Gods desire and singular intention that we should love Him and be with Him in Heaven. Salvation is indeed the plan, but what about free will ? What about what happens to us here on Earth ?

Let us consider for a moment, that God creates out of love. Before the earth, before the world came to be there was God. All 3 persons of the triune God have always been. In the that spirit, and in that truth. Gods plan was to create us. Gods plan in love was to create a world for us to live in. God loves us so much that he created the world and in fact loved and willed each person into the person that we are. God planned for us to come into this world, and to make it more beautiful, more loving, more Godly, through love. Through the love of God, and love of our brothers and sisters can fulfill that destiny that God has planned for each one of us.

Salvation, is not an event. You can not simply wake up one day and say… “ you know, I think I am saved today.”. Salvation, just like our lives was a plan and a process. Salvation comes at the end of a life of love. Love of God, and love of neighbor. Salvation is hard. It’s work. It is a spiritual battle !

Can we persevere in loving God ? That is usually the easy part.. Its easy to be a Christian while your sitting in the pew. Can we love our brothers and sisters.. ? Ah, there is rub. That’s the hard part.

Going out into the world, out of our comfort zone… out of our cocoon, away from all the warm fuzzies. Meeting the “other” brother or sister who is not like you. Who does not think like you, or come from the same place that you do. Being able to accept the other brother or sister who does not share your views. Finding some middle ground to be able to build a relationship. Love, is the healing salve.

It is the law of faith.

“ He died for us, that all of us, whether awake or asleep might live with Him”…

This is where the rubber meets the road…. Jesus loves us … He died, so that we might live with Him.

Lets consider that for few moments. Jesus died, so we could live WITH HIM ! So sin was not the reason He had to die.. ? Well.. lets look at this a bit differently. Why the Paschal mystery ? Why .. seems to be the question of the day. Well the answer to all the questions is LOVE. Jesus’ passion , His suffering, and His death on the cross.. These things were not an act of atonement. These things, were acts of LOVE. God, whose plan was salvation for mankind, gave of Himself (Jesus) to provide a way to fix the sorry state of things on Earth. By this I mean, that ego, animal and human sacrifice, and indeed sin were at the forefront of the human path. It was not a way to change God’s mind about humanity.. It was to change humanity’s mind towards God !

Now, we still have one other part of the mystery.. the resurrection. Jesus died descended into Hell, and rose again on the third day.. Then, he ascended into Heaven. This was the point ! The resurrection and ascension are the prefigurement for our own death and resurrection (sans the trip into hell)…on the last day. SO …. that we might live with HIM !

In all things, from the Incarnation through the Ascension and Pentecost , Every act has been given to us in love. Love really is the answer.. Don’t forget to give yours to God, and your brothers and sisters !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

They Shall See the Lord Face to Face…

February 15, 2019

“ They shall see the Lord face to face, and bear His name on their foreheads. The night shall be no more. They will need no light from lamps or the sun, for the Lord God shall give them light, and they shall reign forever. “

( Revelations 22:4-5 )

Revelations, has always been a little touchy spot with some people. It is the Catholic understanding, that unlike some of our brothers and sisters, who believe that the book of Revelations was written about what is to come… The end of days… the rapture and the consummation of all of the earth.

The problem is, that the book of Revelations was not about future things at all ! It was about History!

These are the things that have already come to pass. Like many who read the bible in a very literal sense, it more reasonable to understand that the book of revelation is written in a poetic  or literary styling.

They shall see the Lord face to face.. The people in the holy lands got to see Jesus face to face.. The Apostles saw Jesus face to face and bore His name and still do today. We bear the mark of Him on our foreheads in the sacraments. “Receive the sign of the cross on your forehead”.

“Night shall be no more …”

For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness. ( 1 Thessalonians 5: 5)

“They will need no light or sun, for the Lord God shall give them light.”

We have no need of earthly lights, (enticements, sin, worldly pleasure), as these and other people would tempt and lead us off the path. The Lord, is the only light we need.

Your word is a lamp for my feet,a light for my path. ” ( Psalm 119:105 )

“ and they shall reign forever”. We reign as “priest, prophet and king” the royal priesthood of the faithful. Meaning we will then have eternal life, and live in the glorious kingdom of God.

We should strive to see the Lord face to face. In all that we are and do. In our brothers and sisters, and in all of creation. In each and every human, our brothers and sisters. We should seek to see God in all of creation, to see the imprint of the Most High in all we encounter.

Are we striving to carry Christ? to bear His mark?  to bear Him to others, so that they might look past ourselves and see Christ within us ? Are we showing Christ to others instead of our earthly selves ?

Can I be the lens through which the light of Christ shines forth, and do so with the action of the life I live ?

Can we let Christ reign in our hearts forever and for others ? This is what we are called to..

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Hear,O Israel !

February 10, 2019

“ Hear, O Israel, The Lord is our God , the Lord alone. Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. “

( Deuteronomy 6:4-7 )

This reading has a vast history in scripture. Not only to Christians but to the Jewish people as well.

This reading begins with the “Shema” which is , interestingly, part of the centerpiece of Jewish Morning and Evening prayers. It is also found throughout the Old and New Testament .

This reading from Deuteronomy has its origin in the Exodus. It is important for us to understand what this reading says.. why it is included in the Bible and what its origins are. You can trace its path through the Bible ( Exodus 15:11, Deuteronomy 6:4, Numbers 15:37, Matthew 22:37, and finally Luke 10:27 ). OK great ! Now why ? Glad you asked. Beginning with Moses in Exodus , Moses is telling the Israelites, that He brought them safely out of the land of Egypt, out of sin and slavery. He provided for them and as long as they held to the law of the Lord, then things would go well for them.

He would provide for them, long life and provide for their needs..

This is what God wants from His people… To love ! He wants us to LOVE ! He wants us to love Him , and follow His precepts, and He wants us to love one another and indeed all of creation.

Jesus told us the greatest commandment was to love God, and our neighbor as ourselves. Love. The commandment just does not get much simpler than that. It seems like such a simple thing. As any married person can tell you, it is also quite difficult

Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. Love is a choice to give to the other. It is a series of self sacrificing , and self emptying decisions. It is the choice of being able to receive God in the gift of the other person.

How are we doing if we use this reading as a litmus test ? Do we love God ? Have we loved God today ? Was He the only God of our day ? Have we been able to see God at work in the world, and in our lives today ?

It is not to ask if you believe that you have sinned today. No… Instead it is simply are you able to see God in your life.. In your world ? Can you see the imprint of the Most High in the ordinary. Have we taken the time to shake off the things that call for our attention and looked for God in the situations we find ourselves in , and love God in the moment ?

Can we engage in a pouring out of our very heart and soul and strength in love of God ? To love our neighbor, our brothers, our sisters…

When we love.. we are living for the other. We are giving , emptying , carrying, and caring for the other. We are given the commandment to go and make disciples of all nations. The very best way that we can do that is by living our most authentic, and loving Christian lives. To carry the love of God unto all of creation, and boldly allowing ourselves to be vulnerable , to be open, to be honest , and to be the person that God made us all to be. Go and boldly love !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

If You Rest…You Rust !

February 2, 2019

“ What we await are new heavens and a new earth, where, according to His promise, the justice of God will reside. So, beloved, while waiting for this , make every effort to be found without stain or defilement , and at peace in His sight. Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation . “

( 2 Peter 3 13-15 )

The life is not easy. In fact is can be difficult if not seemingly insane at times. The further along in our lives we travel, the more difficult it seems to become. There are demands and responsibilities , social and societal pressures., and challenges both of our own making ,and of those that get thrust upon us.

Many times the challenges seem unending. That is how it is in our earthly life, and it is also how it can appear to be in our spiritual life. Lets be honest , there are rules, and procedures, there are nuances at every turn ! There are an unceasing number of “interpretations” of this and that , and each one of those interpretations can press down into your own private spiritual space where it is that you feel most at home and it is that quiet little place where you have carved it out specifically for you… your spiritual “ Happy Place”.

The problem is, that your “Happy Place” that nice little set of ideas you have been in for the last little bit, well…. its not safe. Eventually, it will not be happy either. Why ? It is because we were not meant to be at rest in our spiritual lives ! We are challenged , whether we want it or not, because if we are not challenged, then we do not grow, which ultimately means we are dying in our spiritual lives.

I was visiting with an elderly gentleman who had an extremely active life in his retirement, I was amazed at all things he had scheduled for that day. He said “ It’s quite simple…. If you “rest”, you “rust” ! “…

It is the same with our spiritual lives. Without nourishment, without challenges, without some form of spiritual exercise we slowly begin to die off. You MUST keep asking questions. Keep asking questions until you have found the answer, and then ask MORE QUESTIONS !

Just like our earthly relationships, in order to have a relationship with someone, you need to get to know them, you learn through interaction both with them, and with others exactly who they are, and what they are like. If cease interaction , the relationship slowly fades away. Eventually, you loose touch and it dies off completely save for a memory of who they were and what you did or they did.

So, the challenge is to keep learning , keep growing, and keep trying.

You will fail ! We fail, and we recognize that we fail. Why ? Because we are not perfect people. It is because we are sinners. It is also because of the fact that we are trying to be good followers of Christ ,

And what is the prize for trying ? The fact that we become MORE aware of the places where we fail ! How great is that ?!! The closer we get to God, the more he chastises us ! WIN ! Wait a minute !

That does not sound right. ! Actually it is. It means that God is at work with us, He is trying to mold us, and get us closer to being ready for Heaven. THAT is the goal ! So we have to work on our spiritual lives and that is a good thing.

We also need to keep in mind that God understands we are not perfect people. He gave us free will and allowed us to be imperfect, so that we could love Him of our own accord. He knows we are going to fail, He wants us to work at being free from slavery to sin. He wants us to strive for peace.

Finally, “ Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation”. Our Lord is infinitely patient with us. He forgives the times when we fall, even if others do not, or even if we can’t get to the point where we forgive ourselves ! God desires salvation for every single soul.

In the end it is really not about the questions..

Its about the answers. The answer is Love.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

The Problem of Aging

January 19, 2019

“ Knowing that a man is not justified by legal observance but by faith in Jesus Christ, we too have believed in him in order to be justified by faith in Jesus Christ., not by observance of the law; for by works of the law no one will be justified. It was through the law that I died to the law, to live for God. I have been crucified with Christ, and the life I live now is not my own. Christ is living in me. I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith in the Son of God, who loved me and give himself for me”

( Galatians 2:16,19-20)

: “I have been crucified with Christ “ …

Life is tough. We all struggle, we all have pain and sorrow in our lives. What is it about the pains in our lives ? There is that ever present question for those who serve in ministry, and for those who are close to the suffering. Why ? … Why must we suffer these pains ? Even the little pains and frustrations , that become the inconvenience of our daily lives.. ?

We are each given a period of time on the earth. A season to live out our lives. From the time that we are born, the time of that season grows shorter. That time is given to us to grow and return to God.

This was how it was for Jesus. He was born, lived his time on Earth. He has his own pains and sorrows, frustrations and inconveniences.

As most people consider the life of Jesus on Earth, they really only consider the Passion, Death and Resurrection . Let us for a moment consider what His life was like before the Paschal Mysteries. He lived a life in exile, He lived under obedience to his parents. Joseph was a carpenter.. I am pretty sure he obtained some splinters.. might have smashed his thumb in an unplanned hammer swing. I am sure He was frustrated not only with other people , but even with Joseph and Mary at some point. Jesus lived to provide the example for us to follow. In ALL things.

The one thing that Jesus did not do was to live into old age. You might think to yourself. “ Yes, he didn’t really give us a way to handle that !” But you would be mistaken. The thing about having parents who get older, is that the family dynamic changes. The child takes on the role of parent in that there is a need for the children to take over the role of care-giver, and guardian.

Jesus , with the knowledge of God, had to suffer with the growing pains of those around Him. He had to be patient, and guide others. Think of Jesus ( who is God) as a child with all the faculties of God , having to lead His earthly parents, who were in charge.

As our parents age we are faced with the possibility of dealing with the loss of people who have been our parent, and if we are fortunate, we have time to prepare for that. This is one of the crosses we face as children. If we are parents, then its the same cross we are just crucified on the other side of it.

Jesus was the child of Mary, and at the same time, I am sure He felt like a parent to the disciples, as they were the closest to Him. Imagine he knew from the beginning of His Earthly ministry, that his time was coming to an end like the parent. At the same time, He neither wanted to leave His mother, or His “children”. We can relate the agony in the garden of Gethsemane to this time of caring for our parents or being the parent unable to do all the things we used to be able to do.

In this way we “die” to the law of our earthly life, and take these experiences, these crosses, and use them to live for Christ. To live His example, to grow through these crosses and through these challenges, and to take the example that Christ gave to us and to be the channel of God’s graces and blessings to our brothers and sisters , by the example of our lives.

May God give you the gift of His peace !

You, Yourselves Were Once Alienated…

December 21, 2018

“You yourselves were once alienated from Him; you nourished hostility in your hearts because of your evil deeds. But now Christ has achieved reconciliation for you in His mortal body by dying , so as to present you to God holy , free of reproach and blame. But you must hold fast to faith ,be firmly grounded and steadfast in it, unshaken in the hope promised you by the gospel you have heard. It is the gospel which has been announced to every creature under heaven.”

( Colossians 1:21-23 )

In this reading, Paul is writing a letter of encouragement for the church in Colossae. This passage is part of a reminder to the Greeks that they too were integrated into the Body of Christ and reconciled to God through Christ.

At one point, the Greeks were alienated from the Church because there were people who believed that only Jews could be Christians. Somehow they believed that belonging to Christ was just an extension of being a Jew and because of that, Greeks were not part of that extension, and could not therefore be Christian.

This passage calls to mind that we, are all sinners. Through sin we can become separated from God. Sin is a choice. Because we have free will, and because of our human failings we sin. That sin causes injury to our relationship with God. God has indeed achieved reconciliation for us in His body.

In His body Jesus reconciled us. Today, He lives, and reconciles us to God in the sacrifice of the Mass, in the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the sacrament of Penance

Eucharist and Penance. Daily conversion and penance find their source and nourishment in the Eucharist, for in it is made present the sacrifice of Christ which has reconciled us with God. Through the Eucharist those who live from the life of Christ are fed and strengthened. “It is a remedy to free us from our daily faults and to preserve us from mortal sins.”

( CCC# 1436 )

If you are somehow separated from God, or from the Body of Christ, His church, then I want to tell you that you are not too far gone, you are not a lost cause, you are not either worthless or unloved. It is possible that you have sinned. We ALL have sinned. You may have hurt someone . We ALL have hurt others. Sin hurts not only the person that commits the sin, it hurts the entire Body of Christ, the entire church. We ALL have done this. Some might sin more mightily than others. It does not matter. Please, come and talk to a priest. You can even talk to a priest who is not in your normal parish. AND You DONT have to be Catholic to do it. Make a call, reach out… In the grander scheme of things at the very least, you get to talk to another human being who will understand what your going through. BUT, I am willing to bet, that in the process of doing so, you can find that you are not that different, and that you will find that there is a community of people, who are waiting there to welcome you home.

Oh , and just in case you were wondering, like everything else in the world, you will find there are others in there, who are struggling just as much as you are, and we are all just in there, to know God , to love God and to serve God… maybe a little better than we did yesterday, and to help each other out on the way. !

May God give you the gift of His peace !

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