So what’s up? Stewardship. If you haven’t considered it, please think about it. Just in case you didn’t know, stewardship is at the heart of being a Christian. I can hear the sighs already…”oh no, he’s going to talk about money.” Stewardship is not just about money…it’s about being good care takers of all that God our father has blessed us with. My friends, this includes Mother Earth and all life on this planet, wild as well as human. I refer you to the book of Genesis, chapter 1. We can’t save the world by ourselves, but we can help try, and I’m sorry, this is one of those things where ACTION is just as important as prayer and faith. Here we go!
Time: Have you ever heard someone say, my time is precious? Time is a blessing. Some of us seem to never have enough, and some of us seem to have too much. You will see this distinction with all things that God blesses us with, especially talent and treasure. It is very rare that one hasn’t been blessed with at least one of these, if not all three. There’s a reason for this. Just as the Father, so too can Jesus and the Holy Spirit know and understand what lies in someone’s heart, what and how much we can deal with, what and how much we can be trusted with. Things we don’t even know ourselves. This is where prayer, faith and enlightenment comes in, driven by the Holy Spirit. One of its many jobs is discernment and direction. Now you’re probably saying, “now hold Deacon, my time is my business not God’s”. Really? Once again I refer you to sacred scripture and to writings of the Saints. God pays attention to time, serious attention. Remember what Jesus said to Peter, James and John in the garden? “Could you not keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37). Hmmm…there’s the question to ask about going to Mass on Sunday! You see, He doesn’t ask for much. Whether it’s at Church, or in prayer He just wants some. When a woman he was advising was apprehensive about the amount of time she had to spend in court as concerning her prayer and spiritual time, St. Francis De Sales said this, “For if you are faithful to God, He will never fail you; even though He has to stop the sun and the moon, He will give you enough time to perform your exercises and all else you must do.” Wow, isn’t this awesome? When are we going to realize that when we give Him something, we get more of it back? Yes, that includes time. So remember, we give Him the best of what we have, He continues to bless us with more of it…including time.
Until next time…may Jesus keep you smiling, may God’s grace shine on you and always take the time to pray for your Pastor.
Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” It’s a question he asks each one of us. Notice he asks this three times. To love someone takes a lot of work and sacrifice...I want you to really think about this, because it does. Ultimately Peter would be sacrificing his life, but in this love affair…Jesus does all the work. Making the work joyful, giving us the strength to keep going when we feel we just can’t go on. This is the Jesus we meet in the Sacrament of reconciliation. Jesus doesn’t criticize Peter, nor does he throw in his face what Peter has done to him. He loves Peter and also knows that Peter is bound to his denial of him and needs to be healed. Being in sin binds the fruit of grace that the Spirit will bring…and Peter won’t be ready for it and neither will we. Sometimes we have to keep coming back regularly (just as we do when we go to see a doctor). But we have to be like Peter too. Notice he doesn’t make excuses for what he’s done, nor does he try to run. Jesus already knows. In saying yes to the Lord’s three questions Peter acknowledges his sin, is sorry for it, realizes that he has hurt the Lord and doesn’t want to hurt him again, and is ready to move on. Like I said, Jesus already knows but he wants to hear it from our own lips and we need to hear it too, we need to move on. Satan loves when we wallow in our sins, preventing the Holy Spirit from taking us to the next level. Having us believe that we’re the worst and God wants nothing to do with us. Jesus loves us, and wants everything to do with us. Do we love him?
Until next time…may Jesus keep you smiling, may God’s grace shine on you and always pray for our Pastor …he loves us and so do I!
Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father?
Our Lord? That’s right our Lord, as in our God, and also our king. God is always draped in mystery. To be honest with you our faith as Catholics is draped in mystery. There are many examples, such as the Trinity, the Eucharist and so on, but can I tell you something? This is just a fancy way of saying, we don’t know. You can’t explain a mystery; you have to figure it out. Sometimes, the answers are quite simple and sometimes they’re complicated. You know, it’s the simple ones we have problems with. We expect the answers to these mysteries to be complicated and exhaustive, when the truth is that they’re so simple…they’re staring us right in the face! The problem is, is that we can’t see or understand because we are trying to figure things out on our own. Divine understanding requires divine help, usually in the form of the Holy Spirit. It’s always good to pray and ask for understanding with help from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the one that gives power of interpretation, wisdom and understanding in these matters. We also need faith, for it is faith that helps us to believe. So do we believe that Jesus is our Lord, our God? The question of why should have been answered at Christmas time. Um, we do believe Jesus is God right? This could be tough to digest, but imagine you’re a super hero with fantastic powers, and you have to give up those powers willingly. Because you’re formless you have to take on a form (you don’t want to be scaring the daylight out of people), so you choose a human form. You are now human and vulnerable. You have to go through human stages of life to experience all the things humans experience, birth, growth and development, being cared for, being taught and so forth. As you develop, you realize that you are a physical manifestation of a whole, bigger being, and you must empty yourself completely for this bigger being who you are a part of to be able to manifest its power through you, allowing that being’s power source (the Holy Spirit) to flow through you. So you are an individual, but you are part of the bigger being, sharing thoughts, emotions, the Holy Spirit, etc. Pray about it.
Until next time… remember to pray for our pastor. Love ya! Deacon Phil
Happy New Year! Wow, another year come and gone! It seems it blew by. My prayer is that each and every one of us has a very blessed new year. A year filled with good health, peace and happiness; a tall order for sure, but not impossible with prayer and faith. I did enjoy seeing all the new faces during the Christmas Masses, I pray that we will continue to see those faces on a regular basis; um…we are one holy family lol! So what makes us a HOLY family? If you answered baptism, can I get a woo woo!! That’s right! Baptism is what unites us as a family in the Church. Mary, our mother, symbolizes the new Eve, and it is fitting starting off the New Year by honoring her. I mean, could you even imagine what would’ve happened if she had not said, “yes”? It also slows things down a bit by praying along with her for the things a mother longs for for her children, health, peace, wisdom, and reunion with God our father.
There’s a whole lot going on with the Epiphany than meets the eye. The Magi represent us as Gentiles. The gifts they bear are not only expensive but represent different aspects of what the Christ child will mean: Gold, royalty, kingship…frankincense, anointed, Godliness…myrrh, burial perfume signifying that he will die. It’s a simple story, but if you blink you’ll miss everything in it. There’s obedience, joy, intrigue, and deception. Satan is already in full swing through Herod and has control, hence the deception of Herod to the Magi. Notice that Mary is in the middle of all this…and she should be. She’s there from the very beginning, and she’s there at the very end. In the beginning as a mom, and in the end as a mom and a disciple. We may not have much to give the king, but we do have our hearts…we could at least give that.
Until next time… have a healthy, and peaceful New Year. Love ya! - Deacon Phil