God is serious. He has created us for a purpose. He has a plan for us. This is a plan that springs from his passionate love for us. He longs for us to come into his passionate embrace.
Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?"
Jesus answered and said to him,
"Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree." (John 1: 48)
When things are going well in life we want to hold onto the moment. We don't want to let go. That's why we take pictures. We want the moment, the celebration to last: the baptism, the prom, the wedding, the anniversary, the vacation and the gathering of family and friends.
As I meditated on today's reading from Ecclesiastes, I thought of the many Funeral services I've conducted through the years. I thought of the seemingly countless men and women buried in the National Cemetery.
Trust in the Lord has to be limitless. It must stem from the fact that the power of the living God can do so much more than we can even think of.
You and I are people on a journey. Our whole life is a journey. Our trip takes us to new places: our home, our neighborhood, our school. Some places are attractive and some places we are restless to avoid.
“Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him.” (Prv 3:27)
I am overwhelmed with sadness. I can't imagine what it it must be like to live with the constant threat of a cruel death. And then when the list of those killed is made known, the lose, the terror of holding the dead body of a wife, a husband, a child, a parent. I can't imagine the deep mourning.
I first get that impression in that I'm going to be like the resurrected Jesus. People touched him. He ate fish. But then his body had a spiritual dimension that allowed him to disappear in a flash and even move through walls.
Let’s realize that the definition of righteousness is being without sin. I’ve realized that since we are all sinners (1st John 1:8) that we must be missing some component that can save us.
Imagine you are a missionary who is sent to a far corner of the earth, to a place so remote that the people there have never hear anything about Jesus.
Love is all the good stuff, and none of the bad stuff. But if you take it section by section and really think about what its saying, love is tough. It doesn’t say love is a bunch of warm fuzzy feelings that make us feel good about ourselves. Every one of the aspects of love can be challenging at times.
We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. As such, though we are all different, in Christ we all become united as one. All together we make up the body of Christ, but like a body, there are many different parts to it: no part greater or lesser, simply different.
Faith is defined by believing in something that we have no proof for. It is having assurance for what we do not see. I never knew that that definition is actually from the Bible.
How can we say we are in Christ, yet our actions towards others remain the same? Do we go out of our way to help our strangers, neighbors, loved ones? I believe that what James was referring to in this compelling verse, is the fact that we are the body of Christ, and God works through us to show his love to those in need.
When you love someone you invest in their lives. You give that person your time, your attention and especially your sacrifices. The more you give of yourself, the more that you depend on that person.
In most Catholic Churches when you enter you are faced with horrific image of a naked Jesus who has had nails pounded into his hands and feet. He is dead.
When Paul came to bring his love of Jesus to the Greek town of Corinth, he encountered the People's beliefs in many gods. These god were responsible for taking care of the various needs that arose in their lives: love and sexual relations, war, life on the sea, the harvest of crops, sickness and earthquakes. The city was filled with temples and shrines to various gods.
When we're in a rush, we tend to passover things. We might say and do things that confuse people. We don't have time to give the whole pictures. We can easily be misunderstood.
Today we in the States recall the terrorists' attacks on our country. Three passenger planes were commandeered and crashed into the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in Washington and then a farm field in Pennsylvania. Over 2,000 people were killed.
We Christians live in two worlds. The first is the secular world. This is the realm of commercials and programs and stories that come to us through the media. Our other world is our community of followers of Jesus.
There's no getting say from it. We can try to pretend that we're not bothered by it. We try to act as cool and not affected as we can. Still there no escape. It can get its claws into us and won't let go. What is this plaguing reality, this pushing, gnawing force that we can never evade? Ah, the word is "fear."
Mary's birth was probably just another birth in the village of Nazareth. Her Parents and family were happy, but the birth was nothing extraordinary.
In today's reading from Corinthians, Paul has to deal with a lot of negative judgements. He handles all the negativity quite well. He shrugs his shoulders and says that he doesn't care about the judgements of others. He even goes so far as to say that he doesn't even judge himself.
I've always marveled at the account of the call of the disciples and their spontaneous response to leave everything and follow Jesus. Peter and his brother Andrew are tending their fishing nets. Jesus walks up, seemingly out of no where, and asks them to follow him.