30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
When I was young, I didn't like doing the dishes - it was an obligation, a duty, something I HAD to do. When my parents came up to visit me the other week, I cooked them a nice meal, and then miracle of miracles...I wanted to do the dishes! Out of thankfulness for all they've done for me, I WANTED to do that service for them. In our Gospel today Jesus heals a blind man who then follows Him along the way. This once blind man is not living his faith out of a sense of duty or obligation - he's living his faith with enthusiasm because he's thankful for what Jesus has done for him. How do we live out our faith? How do we live out our relationship with God? Is it under a burdening sense of duty and obligation, or as an energizing, thankful and joyful response to what Jesus has done in our lives? What has Jesus done for you recently? Keeping that answer at the forefront of your mind will transform your faith!
Diocesan Youth Rally
When I was little I loved playing basketball. As I grew I moved from a little foam basketball to a little heavy basketball to a women's basketball to a men's basketball, from granny shots to real shots; then, one day, I finally realized what it felt like to make the perfect shot - you may as well turn around and start heading down the court because as soon as it leaves your hand you know it's going to be a swoosh! That swoosh experience, that feeling of everything working exactly how it's supposed to (no matter what the sport or activity)...you know what that feels like! "That's exactly how it's supposed to be!" we say to ourselves. Now what if you could say that about life? What if you could get to the end of a day and say, "That's exactly how life's supposed to be!" With the Lord...you can!
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
It's a natural human tendency to make sense of things. We ask the question "Why?" and we come up with an answer to appease our minds. Our brains will even make up answers (even wrong ones, and totally believe them) just to satisfy this impulse to make sense of things. When it comes to suffering, pain, difficulty, and even death, however, coming up with an answer for "Why?" often makes God into some kind of monster. In the Scriptures God never gives an answer to "Why?" (I don't think there is one), but what He does do is show us "where" He is when it comes to suffering, pain, difficulty, and even death: "I'm right there with you! I walked that path already so that you would never have to walk it alone! You're never alone!"
28th Sunday in Ordinary Time
An enthusiastic young man comes to Jesus in our Gospel asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Having followed all the commandments from his youth, Jesus invites the young man to take a step in faith...but this young man is very wealthy. At Jesus' challenge to sell what he owns and follow Jesus alone, this good young man walks away - he isn't willing to put something in his life down to take hold of Jesus. We only have two hands, and this weekend Jesus is stretching out his hand asking us to take hold and be raised to another level of our relationship with him. But we only have two hands, and keeping hold of Jesus often involves putting something else down in life - even good things. We've only got two hands: what are you holding onto?
I think the title speaks for itself...you'll want to listen to this!
26th Sunday in Ordinary Time
How do we evaluate a day, a week, a month, a season in our life? Is it by how little we've done wrong or sinned? In the Gospel today Jesus comes down hard on sin: "If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out!" While we may become complacent with our sins, Jesus never does. And yet, if our goal is never to sin, that neither makes us holy nor prepares us for heaven! The Christian life isn't about not sinning; heaven isn't about not sinning. Turning away from sin is only the first step of the Christian life. Then we walk the path of the Gospel in a real and living relationship with Jesus! So how do we evaluate a day, a week, a month, a season in our life? A Christian would evaluate it based on how generously he or she lived, how many opportunities to help others were taken advantage of, how much more a man or woman of the Gospel they became during that time.