Give our list to God!

Wednesday Seventh Week of Ordinary Time

James 4:13-17

Mark 9:38-40

 

What are reminded today of our readings of a very important spiritual truth that is so easy to get away from and that is to give everything to God because God is in control? How centered are we in Christ today? How centered on ourselves are we today?

 

In our passage from James, the writer gives us a very good example of what can happen in our lives. The writer says, “How often do we spring out of bed and have a list of things to do for the day and not give that list to God?” The writer cautions us to pray over our list and to give that list to God and let God control our list of things to do?

 

In our Gospel the disciples are only thinking of their belly buttons. The disciples witness someone expelling demons, and they try to stop the person from doing so. The problem is not that the man was not following Jesus, it is that the man was not following the disciples. The man had given his list of things to do to the Lord, and we hear about the result of his actions. The disciples are hanging onto their list and not wanting to give it to the Lord.

 

What is on our list today and what on that list have we given to the Lord? One thing I do is every Monday, I pray over my weekly calendar, and every day, I pray over my daily calendar. I make sure I pray over the empty spaces because that is where God can act the most.

 

 

 

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Are we the greatest?

 

Tuesday of the Seventh week of Ordinary Time

James 4:1-10

Mark 9:30-37

 

 

Who are people with think are the greatest in the world or in our society? Princess Harry and Meghan Markle certainly got a lot of coverage this past weekend! It is the ones who are well educated, wealthy and powerful. They tend to be popular and good looking. There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these until it is at the exclusion of someone else. Our readings will challenge us on how we define greatness in our spiritual lives.

 

The writer in our first reading understands the human condition very well as they caution us about following our passions. The writer does not say it wrong to have passion but to be cautious of what passions we follow. Some of our passions can lead us to think we are the greatest.  

 

The Gospel Jesus overhears his disciples arguing which one of them is the greatest. I can almost imagine Jesus shaking his head back and forth and wondering what is he going to do with these guys. He decides to show them by a very good visual aid, by taking a small child into his arms and letting his disciples know that they need to become like children if they want to be great. Children were insignificant, powerless, poor, often hungry and sick. Now you can almost see the disciples shaking their heads wondering what Jesus is talking about. Jesus is inviting his disciples to welcome this child and make a better place for this child to live.

 

Jesus never came to make a place comfortable for himself; he came to make a place for others to live. In the spiritual life, we never really make our place in this world for ourselves, we are to create a place for others. Jesus is asking us to do the same.

 

How are we working to make a place for others to live? 

 

Are we hearing correctly?

 

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 2:1-11

Galatians 5:16-25

John 15: 26-27; 16:4-15

 

Today we celebrate the Feast Day of Pentecost which is often referred to as the birthday of the Church because it is when the apostles went out and preached thus establishing the beginning of the Church. Pentecost is probably one of the most important days on the Church calendar. We should be overjoyed because we have been waiting and anticipating this day for 50 days. We sit here and go, “Oh, hum! I guess if you have to God, lay it on me!” Why? I believe it is because we have not prepared ourselves to receive the Holy Spirit.

 

What I mean by this is we do not understand that God loves us. Our greatest challenge is not to love others, we all love someone, and our greatest challenge is to know and believe that we are loveable and loved by God. We have such poor self-esteem and lack confidence that prevents us from receiving the Holy Spirit. We do not see ourselves as God see us, we see ourselves with all of our faults, our wounds our ugliness, and so when we come to this feast day, we are not ready to receive what God wants to give us. Here is a question to prove my point, if this week we said, “God where are you?” or “God I do not know what to do, and I am filled with fear.” If we have said anything like this we are “stinking thinking,” and we are not ready to receive the Holy Spirit. We need to hear God say, “I love you, in your ordinary life.”

 

In our first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we hear that on this day of Pentecost there was a strong driving wind that made a big noise, there were tongues of fire, that appeared on each of them and they began to speak in different languages. We can get all caught up in thinking this is how we must feel for Pentecost to happen. We do not need the big noise, tongues of fire and speaking in different languages they are the signs of Pentecost. The keeper of Pentecost is that the apostles heard these things and they knew and understood God loved them, and their lives were changed. We need to hear God say, “I love you, in your ordinary life.”  

 

Our second reading is given to us to admit all the things we do to fill our hearts with love that will never fill us, such as immorality, impurity, lust, jealousy, selfishness, envy and drunkenness. Did we hear any of ourselves in those things, maybe we should read them over again, they are on page 1084. We need to hear God say, “I love you, in your ordinary life.”

 

In our Gospel Jesus says, “I have so much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.” Why is this, because we do not know we are loved! If we truly come to believe this, then our lives can be changed by the Holy Spirit. We need to hear God say, “I love you, in your ordinary life.”

 

I pray, on this day of Pentecost we prepare ourselves to hear the Lord, God say, “I love you, in your ordinary life.” When we know this then we will be able to receive which is all the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Do you love me?

 

Seventh Week of Easter Friday

Acts 25: 13; 13 -21

John 21: 15- 19

All School Mass

Dorothy Spedoski Day

 

Question – If Jesus walked up to you and looked into your eyes and said, “Do you love me?” What would be your answer?

 

Question – “Are you sure? Are you doubly sure?”

 

Question – “What would be the proof that we could give that we do love Jesus?”

 

Our readings are about Peter and Paul who gave their lives in answer to the question, “Do you love me?”  

 

In our first reading, we hear about St. Paul and how he has been arrested. St. Paul answered the question do you love me, by preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and he gave his life in giving witness to Jesus.

 

Our story today takes place after the resurrection as Jesus appears to the disciples on the seashore. This story should recall for us the time that Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times. In our Gospel, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?”  Each time Peter answers, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.”

 

St. Mother Theresa, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

 

Today we honor and remember a woman who lived her life under this motto from Mother Theresa. Dorothy needs a lot of great small things in great love. What are the things that we may do today that we may not want to do but we will because of the love of Jesus Christ?

Do we see different abilities!

 

Seventh Week of Easter Thursday

Acts 22: 30; 23 6-11

John 17: 20- 26

 

What do we see when we look in the mirror? Do we see our good, or bad, and our ugly? What do we see when we look around at the others in our midst? Do we see people who are different and need to change? Our readings bring us to a fuller truth of what we are about as Christians in the world are to do which is not to see a difference, but to see different abilities.

 

In our first reading from the Book of Acts, all the Sadducees and the Pharisees are seeing are each other’s differences. The Sadducees do not believe in the resurrection and the Pharisees do believe in the resurrection and they are arguing. The argument gets so heated they carry Paul away for fear of him being torn into.

 

In our Gospel, there are lots of differences that are going on but Jesus is holding all these differences together. There is the difference of Judas who hands Jesus over, we have Peter who denies Jesus, and we have Thomas who will not believe in Jesus. Jesus does nothing to stop any of this he sees through all of it to God’s plan.

 

Jesus prays three times that we be one as he and the Father are one. God the Father understands his role, and so does the Son, they understand their roles and their differences, and they hold those differences in one.

 

It is the hardest message for us to live by, it means more than love it will mean sacrifice and great prayer. How does this all happen by God’s divine hand? May we only see different abilities!

 

What are the dividing lines in our lives?

 

Wednesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Acts 20:28- 38

John 17: 11-19

 

All of us at one time or another have something that happens in our lives that make a “dividing line” in our lives. A “dividing line” could be a heart attack, a death of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss, a shattered dream or an aging body. In some way, our lives are a series of dividing lines.

 

A dividing line gets us to step back and begin to see the world in a whole new way and to seek answers to questions that we may have been afraid to ask before. Dividing lines bring the walls we fear crumbling down; life gets very real as new walls are built.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus is at a dividing line as he is saying goodbye to his beloved disciples. Jesus goes on for four chapters and 117 verses as he talks about leaving and what it will mean for his disciples. Three things are very clear in his prayer; he asks that God will protect them, he asks that God will protect them from evil one, and he asks that God will set them in truth.

 

What are we working out in our heads and hearts this day that is causing a dividing line in our lives? What are we struggling with that is causing us worry and anxious moments? May we do what Jesus does, he does not run away, he does not close in on himself, he does not get angry, he does not complain. Jesus weeps, he grieves he gathers with his friends, and he prays. He prays with the faith that Easter is on the others side of the dividing line.  

 

When we come to our dividing line, will we see the face of Christ?

 

Change is coming and so is Jesus!

 

Tuesday of the Seventh Week of Easter

Acts 20: 17-27

John 17: 1-11

 

 

Change is hard, leaving can be scary. It will mean starting over, meeting new people and making new friends. It will be moving out of a comfort zone and trying to look like you know what you are doing. I am not only talking about myself I am talking about our 8th graders who only have 13 more days of school then it is off to High School and places unknown. In our readings today Paul and Jesus are leaving their places of comfort, and they both teach us a very good lesson.

 

In our first reading, St. Paul is preparing to leave Ephesus, he stayed there three years, and this will be the longest he will stay in any of his travels. He is preparing to return to Jerusalem. Paul has collected a huge sum of money that he wants to give the Christian community in Jerusalem that is suffering hardship and famine. Paul knows that he too will suffer difficulty and maybe imprisonment. St. Paul has a lot to worry about but what he does is hand over this community to the Lord.

 

In our Gospel, Jesus is about to face his passion and death, and he knows what effect this will have on his disciples. Jesus prays for his disciples as he too hands them all over the God the Father to look out after his disciples.

 

In a time of change, it is easy to think of only ourselves; the challenge is to still think of others and how we may help them make a smooth transition. In perfect love which the Lord gives us, there is no room for fear. We are to follow the example of Paul and Jesus and hand over our loved ones to God and trust that God’s grace is enough for us! The Eucharist we share is our remembrance of God’s goodness to us.