Saturday, March 26, 2011

"...Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:12

(Gospel from Tuesday 3/22/2011)

Heard this in today's homily, thought I would share it:

" A man who had not been to Church in some time came in very quietly and sat in the back most pew in the church. He did not want to be noticed so he was being very discreet. Not known to tuis man was that the Pastor was standing at the back wall and had seen him come in and sit down. The pastor walked over to him after a few minuets of thinking..."you're Joe! Right? I haven't seen you around here in sometime."

Joe said to the pastor, "Yes Father,  I know it has been a very long time since I have been here. But I just cannot stand being around hypocrites."

The pastor quickly quipped back, "We always have room for one more, Joe!"

Moral of the story is two fold because it fits into Monday's Gospel as well.

Re: Luke 6: 36-38

1) We should not judge. It is not our place to pass judgement on people; we are not God.

2) A sense of false humility is dangerous. It can lead us into thinking that we are better than the person sitting next to us. Everyone is judged according to their own deeds and misdeeds by our Heavenly Father. 

We should not judge our brothers and sisters but rather we should love them, as Christ loves us. Now I know this seems a heck of a lot easier said than done. How can we possible love as Christ loved?


I want to quote someone but I cannot find out who the original source is. So if you know, email me and let me know please! 

Anyway, the quote: "Love is a verb!"


What the heck does that mean? It means that WE as a SOCIETY must learn to love. Not only say that we love but we have to make an action. ACTION! God calls us to action daily; being instruments of God's Peace and love day in and day out. 



God is good! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Oh humanity...

"After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them; his face shone like the sun and his clothes became white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, conversing with him. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, "Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."" ~ Matthew 17:1-4
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Immediately preceding the Transfiguration, Christ asks the disciples who he is, and when they tell Him that he is the Messiah.

"Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah. From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do. ~Matthew 16: 21-24


So Peter, in his infinite humanity, could not understand the Mission of Christ yet. Peter looked at Jesus as his leader, and Messiah, but did not want to see the Messiah be put to death or suffer in any way. He seems to be very compassionate in this regard. But, as Jesus says to Peter, “You think as human beings do” and this is true.

Peter’s view is distorted when it comes to the mission of Jesus the Christ. God’s will is above the will of man, and although Peter wants to protect Christ because He is their beloved leader, he cannot. Peter fails to comprehend this. He is flawed in the most common area; Pride.

Pride can be a blinding, menacing, painful experience. Peter has this problem, as most all of us do.

In the Transfiguration account, Peter says “Lord it is good to be here..." Peter says this with the mindset of, it is better to be here than at Calvary. He is again thinking as we humans do, and not as God does. For the umpteenth time Peter is not acting in the way of God's will.

This is why Christ was so upset with him and said "Get behind me Satan!" Peter's words are a temptation to Jesus. And Jesus thinks as His Heavenly Father thinks, like God. He knew what it was that He needed to do.

But then something curious happens at the end of Chapter 16 in Matthew's Gospel; Peter is given the Keys. He man who unknowingly tempted our Lord is given the Keys. How fitting; the one among us who is so fully human, so completely weak, is chosen as head among the Apostles.

I think that this bodes well for humanity. We see Peter, who screwed up at every turn, chosen as head of the Apostles. So if Peter can be appointed by Jesus as head of the Apostles, and us who are as fully human as Peter, we too are chosen to be leaders. Even in our weakness are we strong. We are strong because our faith is firmly rooted in Christ.

With our faith firmly rooted in Christ, we can achieve many goals. The most important of which is heaven. If we do all the good works that we can thing of in our life and fail to get ourselves to heaven, it is in vain. We must do everything, every act, word, thought and anything else for the Glory of God and His Kingdom.

My brothers and sisters, we must attain for ourselves eternal life, with God in Heaven. We must take the first steps in doing this to better ourselves and our relationship with Christ so that we can lead those around us to follow our lead and to help them develop their own relationship with Christ. We are evangelists. Go out and make disciples of all the nations

God is so good!

P.S. Happy Feast of St. Joseph! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Temptation


Yet again I am looking to relate more and more to Jesus. I keep telling myself that you can't compare yourself to Jesus, He's God, and I am not. And to some degree I know this is true, but then I turn to the Scriptures and I see myself in so much of what Christ does and goes through.

When reading and meditating through them I am filled with insight not only to the Divine of the Savior and also into his human Nature. St. Paul writes in Hebrews 4:15,  


"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin."

This strikes me in a way that it hasn't before.

Christ's humanity is made real in this passage. He experienced everything that I have and will go through. All of my temptations, all of my pain, all of my agony, all of everything good and bad, He knows and has experienced. He has emotions, fears, and other things. But He never sinned. Satan himself tempted Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4: 1-11) and Jesus just told Satan to get away from him. How easy and simple it seems to just be able to tell Satan to go away. How often do we? The faith of Jesus in His Father's will is tremendous.

Now this faith that Jesus possesses is in each of us, whether we know it or not. Because you are created in the Image and Likeness of God you have an intimate connection with Him. You are loved by God, so much so that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to Earth to die for our sins. All we are required to do is to live our life modeled on Christ's teachings and be obedient to God in our daily lives.

There are times when we don't want to be obedient to God's will in our lives on a daily basis. Jesus was tempted in this regard also. In His Agony in the Garden Matthew 26:39,


"He advanced a little and fell prostrate in prayer, saying, 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet, not as I will, but as you will.'"


 But Jesus stayed true to His Father's will and allowed Himself to submit to the will of the Heavenly Father. Jesus was tempted, but he again told Satan to go away. He followed His Father's plan. So to should we.

Let us make a prayer,
Father, thank you for the gift of your Son. I know that you sent your Son to this Earth to redeem mankind and to bring us back into your Divine Presence. He freed us from the bondage of sin through His blood. Grant us the same courage and strength to tell Satan to go away from us as your Son did; allowing us to do your Holy Will in all that we do.
Amen.

God is good!