Monday, March 27, 2017

Was Blind, But Now I See!

Amazing grace . . . How sweet the sound  . . . was blind but now I see.
1)    Whose sin is this? I remember my dad. Last 2 years of his life very difficult. He was a very devout, faithful man. After retirement went to Mass daily. But he asked me: did I do something wrong? No, you just got old. I told you don’t get old! Some though misfortune due to sin. Sometimes we do cause our own problems, but many times do not.  Jesus – we can bring good out of this.
2)    Now Jesus, the enemy of darkness does something unusual – spits on the ground and makes a mud paste – remember creations story – formed out of clay of ground – mudbloods – now in Jesus, creation is being completed.
3)    Go wash in the pool of Siloam  “Sent”  - symbol of Baptism – restores sight, new life!
4)    He is a new person – he can see physically – but like everyone Baptized, he is invited to see spiritually!
5)    Can we see?  Basketball commentator – art critic – doctor – they see thing I cannot see. Must train ourselves to see, to see as Jesus sees!   Remember phrase: seeing is believing   Now: believing is seeing!
6)    Step by step the man born blind sees:
a)    A Man
b)    A Prophet
c)     A Man from God
d)    Lord!!!
7)    Now he can truly see.  Faith is a new kind of sight -  we see Christ in poor, unborn child, homeless person, husband, wife, parents, children, co workers, different race or religion.
8)    John Newton 1748 was a Slave Trader “The Great Blasphemer.”  By the way, reading history of our area, slaves here at same time!   Ship was in a terrible storm. Tied himself to helm of ship and made a promise to God that if he survived, he would stop the slave trade.  He survived and he did. Later wrote the word of this song:

9)    Amazing Grace . . .      was blind but now I see.  I see!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Water

Take a sip of water. Let it work it’s magic. It does a lot more than take away thirst. It renews tissues and organs. It moistens the eyes, brain and spinal column. It aids in digestion and elimination. It lubricates joints and regulates temperature. Without water, our lives are in danger.
Jesus asks her for a drink, but it turns out that he has something to give her. If she would ask him, he would give her living water. “Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst..”   Sir, give me this water that I may not be thirsty.”
We all thirst, don’t we? There is a thirst in every human heart. Bruce “Everybody has a hungry heart.”We are thirsting for something, something that will satisfy all our human longings.
-         Some seek the water of praise to quench lack of self esteem
-         Some water of success to quench thirst for self importance
-         Some water of pleasure to quench thirst for happiness.
Some disappear into a world of drugs, pornography, violence. Someone here seems to die from heroin every month. I read how one young man died after playing a video game 24 hours straight.
But we find ourselves still thirsty. Each person has an emptiness, a “holy longing” that we choose to fill with either good or evil.   There is a hole that we believe only God can fill.    St. Augustine “You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you!”

Only God can give us what we are looking for. This is why we are here.  We are not doing God any favors by coming to church.  By coming it helps us always to remember who we are and who we are called to be!!    Pray, fasting and almsgiving keeps us on the right path.  It helps us make good choices, and it gives great example to others.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

"Listen To Him"

Anna White was a Parishioner of St. Julian’s Church in Chicago. When she reached 106th birthday she was asked by a reporter - what is her secret?
She said: “There is no secret. I live by my rules. When I go to sleep, I tell God my problems. He tells me what to do. I keep waking up – so I guess God’s happy with how I’m listening to Him.”     How I’m listening to him!

Mt. Tabor   up near the Galilee  to understand Tabor – first Caeseria
A few days before this, Jesus was with his Apostles in Caeseria Phillipi
asked:   --  Who do people say that I am      Elijah, John the Baptist, prophet
Who do you say that I am?     Peter – Messiah
Jesus - This Messiah must suffer, die on the cross, and rise 3 days later
Peter – this cannot be    Get behind me, Satan  - you are talking not as God does, but as people do.    (You Are Not Listening”)

6 days later Jesus takes his Apostles – filled with sadness and fear - up Mt Tabor –
-         mountain a “thin place”  closest to God.
-         Elijah & Moses appear – the Law and the Prophets
-         he is transfigured    -  turned inside out so divinity is revealed. How He looked at Resurrection!
-         There will be darkness  – crucifixion!   – but there will be light
-         Peter – let’s put up tents – can we stay here – no, but carry this experience with you!!!
-         Father – this is my beloved son   LISTEN TO HIM!!!

Get on a plane – go through safety routine – do we listen?  Except for this flight – we may have a problem with the landing gear – lets go through what can happen – everyone is listening now.   Why listen – best interests at heart –- want to save us -  doesn’t Jesus?!

Try Listening to the One who can save our lives and our souls!

Anna White was asked – what is your secret?  It’s no secret – I listen to God!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Lent is Spring Training

March is finally here – although it was much warmer in February.! March means that all the baseball teams are in Florida or Arizona getting ready for the new season. They call it Spring Training.
Some players, like Tim Tebow of the Mets, want to see if they have what it takes to play Major League Baseball.  All the players – veterans and rookies – want to work on their skills. They want to practice their hitting, fielding and running.   They want to become better players.
Lent means “Spring.” Someone once described Lent as Spring Training for the soul. We want to be better followers of Jesus.
Jesus spent 40 days in the desert – to get ready for his public ministry. So, Lent is 40 days. In the desert, Jesus faced different temptations.  He did not want to make the same mistakes that Adam and Eve did – to give into temptation and sin.
1)     Turn stones into bread – get something, buy something, eat something: that will be the answer! So, we Fast During Lent. Many of us give up something – Twitter lists top 5: alcohol, social networking, chocolate, twitter & chips.  We offer it up – unite with Jesus sacrifice. Even more important – fast from sin – make a good Confession.
2)     Throw yourself from the temple – test God.  Jesus always – not my will but you will be done.  And so, we pray – St. John Damascene - lift up minds and hearts to God. Morning, evening, meals, Mass, Bible, Rosary, Stations.
3)     Bow down and worship me -  power and glory – the answer is to serve others – almsgiving. Pope Francis says if you see someone in need - just give.  We will do that next Friday with all the Midnight Run donations you gave us.  Rice Bowls, SVDP, your favorite charities & very important – give yourself to your own family.
One player at Spring Training this year is Tim Tebow. He is trying to see if he is good enough to play for the Mets.
Asked: Do you feel pressure?  “What pressure? You mean 0 for 12 vs like fighting for your life or being homeless.  That’s why there is no comparison – that’s why you can handle pressure in sports – it’s a game!”
“Sports - It’s not why I am here, it is not my biggest purpose, it is not my biggest calling. It’s not how I want to be known in my life – not to be known as a football or baseball player. I want my life to be so much more than that!”
“I want to be someone that was known for bringing faith, hope and love for those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. This is so much bigger than sports.”

Thank you, Mr., Tebow – sound like a definition of a good Christian. – a great reminder WHY we need the season of Lent!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

ASH WEDNESDAY

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. 

Blessed Ashes will be imposed during Mass after the homily at 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.
Blessed Ashes will be imposed at the end of Services at 9:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

Remember - Ash Wednesday is a Day of Fasting and Abstinence from Meat.

Join us for Stations of the Cross on Friday at 7:00 p.m.

25th Anniversary Mass POSTPONED!!!

Cardinal Dolan has asked us to postpone the 25th Anniversary Mass scheduled for March 4. His mother, Shirley, recently had a fall. He needs to be in St. Louis next weekend. When he returns, we hope that we can set a new date. In the meantime, please pray for Shirley Dolan.

Do Not Worry!

A man used to worry a great deal. One day his friends noticed – he seemed not to have a care in the world
Well, I decided all this worry was unwise and unhealthy.
So I decided to hire someone to do my worrying for me.
How much?  Oh about $1,000 per week.
How can you afford to pay this man?   That’s his worry!

Wish it was this easy!   Safe to say we all have worries!

Recent study:
2% of worrying time is spent on things that can actually be helped by worrying
40% on things that never happen
35% on things that cannot be changed
15% on things that turn out better than expected
8 % on useless, petty worries

Listen to Jesus   three times-don’t worry    your Father knows what you need -  after all I know you, I love you, I care about you!!

1)     Yesterday is History  -   with it’s cares,  pains, and mistakes – is gone. It was mine, not it is God’s
2)     Tomorrow is a Mystery – with its fears, possibilities, burdens, promises and failures. But it is not mine, yet – it is God’s
3)     Today is a gift  -  that is why we call it “the present.”   One day at a time

Today is the gift.

1)      Live in the present
2)     Always try to do the right thing – nothing like a clean conscience
3)     Let go of the rest  - Hand it over to God
Holding up a glass – how heavy is it?   10oz   16oz
Weight doesn’t matter – it depends on how long you try to hold it.
Hold minute – no problem     hour – arm aching    Day – call an ambulance
Put it down
.
Next to bed
“Before you go to bed, give your troubles to God. He will be up all night anyway.”






Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.
Amen.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr