Sometimes the sayings of Jesus in our Gospel stories seem to be a little removed from reality, totally impractical to apply in "real life". Such is the one we struggle with from Luke 12:32-40: "Do not fear, little flock. Sell everything - give to the poor - where your treasure is, there is your heart." Sell everything: my house, my car, my clothes, my, ...satellite dish?
It's a question of setting priorities, trying to recognize what is important in the life we have chosen... to follow Christ. Does a worker in the Kingdom of Christ need another electronic gizmo to show off to their friends? When you are carrying the cross, and lifting up the fallen, do you have room in your hands for a cell phone, game boy or I-Pod? Ultimately Jesus' words call us to focus on Him first and the "purse that doesn't wear out." Everything else will start to seem very unimportant.
It is a good and praiseworthy thing to pray for those who have died, for those who are sick and for special occasions in people's lives. Having a Mass offered and a card sent that this is being done on your behalf shows you care and want the Lord to assist them in their need. Offerings can be made and cards obtained for these intentions at the parish office or sacristy.
What Really Matters!
No matter if you call, it's where you land.
Not the cushions on the seat, but where you stand.
How you live, not your financial situations.
It isn't the path it's your destination.
Prayer on a Summer Day
God our Father, this is one of your perfect days. It's warm and sunny and the whole earth smells good. I can see and smell and touch your love all around me. I see your love in the woods and the garden. I see your love in the clear blue sky and thick green grass. I hear your love in the songs of birds and the sounds of kids laughing. I feel your love in the warm sand between my toes and in the petals of flowers. Thank you for the beautiful world you've given to me. Amen.
A poem compares our life with Jesus to two people on a tandem bicycle. It reads: “At first, I sat in front, Jesus in the rear. I couldn’t see him, but I knew he was there. I ‘d feel his help when the road got steep. Then, one day, Jesus and I changed seats. Suddenly everything went topsy-turvy. When I was in control, the ride was predictable - even boring. But when Jesus took over, it got wild! I could hardly hold on. “This is madness!’ I cried out. But, Jesus just smiled - and said, “Pedal!” And so I learned to shut up and pedal - and trust my bike companion. Oh, there are still times when I get scared and I’m ready to quit. But Jesus turns around, touches my hand, smiles, and says, “Pedal!”
Why do I find it hard to trust my bike companion as much as I’d like?
I may trust Jesus too little, but I can never trust him too much.
Our Real Work
The duty to work is often improperly understood by Christians. We have defined it as productive activity in the marketplace, shop, office or factory, in other words what we do to earn a living. But making a living is not the only purpose of work. Apostolic work is also included in our duties – giving witness to Christ, bringing the good news, loving and serving God and His children here on earth.
This may come as a surprise to some of us. If we think of it at all, we think of evangelism as something the clergy does, or maybe those missionaries in foreign lands. And we think of spiritual duties as something to do with our spare time. But in our daily work, whatever profession or job, God calls us to be evangelists, apostles, according to the gifts He has given and the place He has put us in. If we work merely to make income, to buy more, we are not living full Christian lives. A true commitment to God means working and praying for His benefit to bring the news of Jesus to the world.
Death & Daybreak
When someone we love dies, it is not like a light has been extinguished; it is more like a lamp has been blown out... daybreak has finally arrived.
A man who had lived a life of selfish luxury died and went up to heaven. An angel was sent to show him to his house. They passed many lovely mansions, and each time the rich man thought: “This must be mine.” But not so. They passed through the main street and arrived at the outskirts where the houses were very small. Finally they came to a hut. “This is yours,” said the angel. “this is my house? There must be a mistake,” the rich man exclaimed. “No,” the angel answered, “there is no mistake. This was the best we could do with the materials you sent up.”
The Devil and the Harvest
There’s an old European story about a traveler who came upon a barn where the devil had stored seeds that he planned to sow in the hearts of people. There were bags of seeds variously marked “Hatred,” Fear,” “Lust,” “Despair,” “Unforgiveness,” “Envy,” “Greed,” Drunkenness.”
Out from the shadows, the devil appeared and struck up a conversation with the traveler. He gleefully told the traveler how easily the seeds sprouted in the hearts of men and women everywhere.
“Tell me,” the traveler asked, “are there any hearts in which these seeds will not sprout?”
Glancing about carefully, the devil slyly confessed, “These seeds will never sprout in the heart of a kind, generous, thankful and joy-filled person.”