Feast of Christ the King
God's judgment is totally different than ours. Our judgment of people and situations is narrow and subjective - concluded based on our limited perception. God's judgment, on the other hand, takes into account every thought, every inclination, every factor, every pressure, every influence - God's judgment is absolutely fair. After our own particular judgment at the end of our life, and after the final judgment at the end of time when everyone's life will be completely laid open for all to see and we will understand how our life fit into God's great story, we will know ourselves (and others) as God knows us (which is fully and entirely, nothing hidden)...and we will end up in exactly the place we belong in God's love: no shame, no pride, just an honest acknowledgment of the decisions we freely chose to make in this life, whether for God, others, or ourselves. God is absolutely fair, and we will end up exactly where we've chosen to be.
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Master in this weekend's gospel puts a serious amount of cash into the hands of his servants, gives them absolute freedom, and then leaves on a trip. When he comes back, we realize that his end game is NOT about the money: it's about having his servants share in his work so that they can also share in his JOY. Do you lack joy in your life? God has given us everything we have - our faith, education, personality, interests, money, business skills, life experiences, talents - along with absolute freedom, and then "stepped back"...so that we can decide (like the first two servants) to use what He's given us to build up His kingdom - then we'll experience His JOY! Or not...like the third servant. How will you use what you've been given this week?
32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The image most often used in the Bible to describe God's relationship with us is that of a marriage. In the Gospel parable today, 10 virgins are waiting for the groom to arrive and lead them all (with the bride) to the wedding celebration. The groom was running late. Five of the virgins brought extra oil for their lamps while five of them did not. When the five who did not had to leave to get more oil, they missed the groom leading everyone to the wedding. Arriving to the door late, they found themselves locked out. The oil is our relationship with God. We are called to stock up on it throughout a lifetime of shared experiences as we come to know the Lord more and more deeply. Jesus wants to lead all to eternal life, to the wedding party, but He warns us to be ready. If our relationship with God is not a top priority for us and we think we can wait to stock up on this oil, or that we can just borrow from others in a pinch, we may find ourselves missing the party, too.
31st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Every person in this world is called to have a deep, rich, personal relationship with God - that is the first and primary vocation (call) from God to each and every one of us. After that universal vocation comes our particular vocations - how we can best share our love for God with others - whether that's through marriage, priesthood, religious life or single life. As we focus on vocations to the priesthood and religious life during this National Vocations Awareness Week, what are some practical steps that can be taken to support our young people in these particular vocations? You'd be surprised, but the answer starts with YOU!