What is God doing?

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So, it is times like this that the answer cannot be simply nothing.  No matter how cynical you may be about Christianity for all sorts of reasons that any good atheist could give you, you have to see that this God of Christianity is making himself present in our media right now.  Within the past few years, we have seen a Pope step down and a new one get elected.  The new Pope chose the name “Francis” and has been setting the world on fire with his off the cuff manner of speaking.  In the past few months, we have seen the release of a movie about Jesus, called the “Son of God”

Also, there was a controversial release of a movie about a prominent figure from the Bible, called “Noah”

In the last two weeks, there was the release of the movie, “God’s Not Dead”, which tells the story of a young man who has to argue his faith against his professor in college.

The last one is the latest release from this week, and possibly the most influential film on the non-believers.  The movie is called, “Heaven is for Real” and it is based on a book about a boy who told his parents about his experiences in Heaven when he had a near death experience at a very young age…

So, you put all of these movies together with the canonizations of two recent Popes that will happen on the octave of Easter, and I am left with the distinct impression that God is trying to say something to us right now.

To me, I believe the message is that God is preparing the world to hear the message of Divine Mercy Sunday…If you are wondering what that message is…Check here…

http://www.thedivinemercy.org/celebrate/greatgrace/dms.php

 

 

April Fool’s Day!

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Thanks be to God for this beautiful sunrise!

Thanks be to God for this beautiful sunrise!

So, today is the day that our culture celebrates stupidity. For me, that usually means that I fall victim to any number of pranks pulled by the closet tricksters that come out of the closet on this holy day of obligation for those who are entertained by such things. Truth be told, I am not above pulling a good prank on someone, but I refuse to believe that we need a day to remember to do this on. I thought about making the title of this post, “Why I am leaving the Catholic Church?” I realized quickly that I would have to let on to the joke fast, so that those that knew me would not lose hope because of my apparent lack of faith.

I would to offer an alternate view of April 1st. Let’s call it a day of hope. As we continue through this season of Lent, the time of our preparation for the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus, we could take today as a reminder that the race of life is over too quickly on earth, so let’s look around at all that God created and see that it is very good and He is worthy of our praise.  Let us be hopeful that God is creating every thing new in us and for us in the New Jerusalem.

Sinners everywhere…even here!

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As I showed up at the prayer site for our 40 Day for Life campaign, here in Springfield, Oregon, I noticed that an old friend from the Ukrainian Catholic Church was there praying.  OK, he was actually taking a break on the bench at the bus stop as I pulled up, but who cares…I guess I do!  Anyway, I prayed the 7 Sorrows of Mary rosary and was starting to pray the Sorrowful mysteries of the rosary when a new friend, Dan showed up to pray with me.  I had only gotten to the Scourging at the Pillar when he interrupted me.  I realized quickly that he was not Catholic as he prayed a spontaneous prayer and used Lord God in his reference to the Creator as we prayed together.  I really like to pray, so his spontaneous prayer was awesome, and I guess I shouldn’t mind that he cut off my prayer that I was in the middle of…But I do!  Finally, Diane showed up to peacefully protest abortion in front of the Planned Parenthood with us, and she told me that I should not worry about offending an atheist who sometimes joins us to protest abortion and tells me he is not comfortable with my sign saying that we are praying.  Her aggressiveness is excusable because she has been upset for a while with her people that are often too liberal for her to worship with them…But it still bothers me that she tells me what I should do!

When I got back to my office, I read through the gospel reading from today’s Mass readings.  I realize that I need to forgive them all for what I perceived as a wrong that I saw in their service to the cause of ending abortion in our community.  The reason for my forgiveness for them is that I am hoping that God will have mercy on me for the judgemental way that I seem to have approached my service to the 40 Days for Life campaign to end abortion in our community today.

Truth is, I am extremely thankful for their service to pray with me today and it gives me hope to know that there are others in our community that are willing to stand up for the wrong that they see in our world.  Also, I need to remember to ask for forgiveness from Carol, who showed up at the end of my hour to join with us in prayer and I didn’t even introduce her to the group, because I couldn’t immediately think of her name when I first saw her.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner…Amen!Image

Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel…

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Gift: Wisdom- With the gift of wisdom, we see God at work in our lives and in the world. For the wise person, the wonders of nature, historical events, and the ups and downs of our lives take on deeper meaning. The matters of judgment about the truth, and being able to see the image of God.

Reading:  When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.  (Jonah 3:10)

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A clean heart create for me, God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.  (Psalm 51:12)

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Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevitesso will the Son of Man be to this generation.  (Luke 11:30)

Observation:  It is amazing to me that I did not see the significance of Jonah’s preaching of repentance before in the light of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus reminds us that the Ninevites repented of their sinfulness to be saved from destruction, in the same way that we should see Jesus calling us to turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel.  I have heard it explained before that the symbolism of Jonah in the belly of the fish for three days and Jesus dying for three days is how the two stories relate, but this morning I see that it is Jonah’s call to repentance that we should be realizing in our lives as it relates to the gospel life that we should be living.  The message of Jonah and the whale goes further as well to remind us that fighting God’s will and not resting with the call that he gives us leads to dangerous things in our life.

Personification:  Faithfulness  It is the season for me to have a repentant heart and be displaying the fruit of faithfulness to the gospel.  It is my hope,

however, that others will be doing the same.  I realize that the call to repent during the season of Lent is pretty easy to see, but it is my hope that I can see it every day for the rest of my life.  Also, I will be using this time of Lent to be refocusing my life to only do the will of God and giving up my own will completely.  (More on the practical application of this later…)

Prayer:  Lord,  for my past sins do not cast me from your presence and let your holy Spirit rest with me as I choose to rest in your will.  I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit.  Amen.

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via Turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel….

What is God telling you to do right now?

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Daily reflections from USCCB website…

When I read the daily readings this morning in preparation for the communion service that I was supposed to lead, I heard the message of Jesus in the gospel reading for today saying that we should recognize the work that Doctors and Nurses do daily in healing the body with the work of their hands and their incredible minds.  It was that Jesus could have just healed the man’s eyes without even touching him, but he chose to put spittle and place his blessed hands on the man’s eyes.  He is revealing the nature of the work of people called to heal others, but reminding us that it is by his power that any healing actually occurs, or better said, by his will it is done.  We are reminded of this when he goes in the second time without spittle and just laid his hands on his eyes and they are healed.

In the first reading, we hear a call from the letter of Saint James, to do the work necessary to follow God’s will, and in the gospel reading we hear Jesus tell us to remember to rely on God’s will and not only on our own understanding or will.  I believe that these two things can be worked together in unison, and need to be for hospitals and medical facilities to do their most effective work in the healing ministry in which they have undertaken to follow.  Rather than draw any other conclusions about the work that hospitals and medical facilities should not be concerned with, I will let you draw that conclusion…God bless you!

More thoughts from the Kings and His Kingdom…

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After yesterday’s first reading that I heard proclaimed in Spanish during our Monday morning Spanish Mass here at Saint Alice, I was moved during Father Jaspers homily to ponder how when the priest at our Mass returns the Eucharist to the tabernacle, we can see that the same way that the Israelites in Jerusalem saw the building of the first temple.  It is God made present for us on earth, so that we can adore him and worship him, even though it may not be visible to those that don’t believe, there is no disputing the fact that we believe that God is present there.  We should be like the Israelites in Jerusalem during the time of completion of the first temple, how they rejoiced and praised God for agreeing to make a home among us, until he comes again, to bring us all home to him.

Today, as I prepared to come to work to deal with multiple issues that exist at our church, with the water and power, I thought about how much the three Kings of Israel taught us about our faith.  We must remember when we ask for something to guide us that is of this world, we are in danger of being ruled by it and our flesh, like the Israelites who asked for a King and ended up with King Saul, who ruled the people in a way that left some feeling left out, or at least subservient to the ruling class that was the family and friends of King Saul.  As for King David, we learned that when we neglect our duties as administrator and ruler of our family, we can be left with a big mess to clean up.  As for King Solomon, we learned that if we mess around with worship outside of the one true God, we end up with a jealous God, who shows us who is boss.

Through it all, we know that God’s favor rested with his people and their King, and he was willing to carry them through their faults until it was time to move on to the next phase of the salvation story.  Thankfully, we have the one true King, Jesus Christ, who has revealed to us the nature of a godly man who rules over his people by showing them how to love each other.  Also, we have the historical account of these early Kings of Israel to remind us how God will allow us to be ruled by things that we choose, but only in so far as they will eventually lead us back to him.  It is by his grace that we are saved, and our hope is that we will never lose sight of the path that he has prepared for us to lead us to salvation.

Thoughts on sonship…

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I have been thinking about King David lately, because of the fact that we have been hearing about him in the first readings at Mass lately.  Also, I have been thinking about how much being the chosen ones of God should give us a moment of pause.  Even more than just a moment of pause, it reminds me that as the chosen one, I need to be constantly reminding my children that they are going to have to follow God on their own and not rely on the fact that God is doing work in their Dad as a foundation for their faith.  If the son of King David, Absalom, tells us anything, it should be that it is incumbent on the son to continue to follow the Father in his humility and obedience to God’s will, or the end could be bad.  See the first reading from Today’s Mass for the context.  As for King Solomon, who succeeded King David on the throne, he followed to many of Dad’s bad habits and not enough of his virtues to guarantee the lineage of the Father staying on the throne, at least in the physical world and as far as earthly thrones are concerned.  My hope for my children, and all the Christian children in our world today, is that they will follow their Fathers in the faith, maybe not necessarily their own Fathers, if they are not faithful to God, so that God will continue to bless this world with his mercy and allow our world to convert, as God has shown us his mercy today.  My hope is that their faithfulness and use of their gifts to give glory to God in all things will give the world enough time to the greatest multitude of people the chance to accept the salvific message of the Gospel…For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on me and on the whole world…Amen!!!Image