Just a thought...or two

 

JULY 23, 2017

Once again this week Jesus speaks to us in parables... multifaceted gems that once tumbled around in our hearts and ruminated upon yield unbelievable insights into the Reign of God. While the disciples certainly preferred straightforward answers, Jesus obviously preferred parables.

Of the comparisons of the reign of God to a field, a mustard seed and the leaven in bread, I have always liked the comparison of the mustard seed and the Reign of God. This tiny, tiny little seed grows into a great bush...so large that the birds of the air make their nests in it. If you take the parable at its face value it all seems quite lovely. However there is a dark side...farmers know well...the mustard bush is an invasive plant, it grows wildly and rapidly, quickly overtaking a garden...ruining the plants that had been planted with care...reducing their yield, if not completely choking them out. Mustard bushes are uncontrollable and rapidly spread across a farm if not quickly uprooted before going to seed. Surely this reality was not lost on Jesus...nor on those who heard him tell the parable.

It seems that perhaps Jesus is presenting an image of the expansion of the Reign of God as something uncontrollable, invasive and fast growing! Looking through the lens of this image...the Reign of God is not something that can be domesticated or controlled... by its very nature it grows uncontrollably and burst forth offering refuge.

I believe that most of us though would prefer something that we could contain and control... domesticate! But the truth is that the Reign of God is just that..."God's Reign"...not ours. We are part of it by our baptism and we are called to help water it so that it continues to grow and "invade" every crevice and furrow of this planet... but we don't get to tame it.

Two thousand years ago Jesus' vision of the bursting forth of the Reign of God was nothing less than radical ....and it still is today. We are called to be part of that radical vision...to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless visit the sick and imprisoned...to love one another as Christ loves us and to reach out and to care for "the other." To proclaim the deep and passionate love of God for all peoples! And wasn't it just this radical vision of the reign of God that Jesus preached that got him crucified?

As his disciple just how radical of a life am I willing live? In a world that proclaims a "gospel of personal prosperity"...tax cuts for the rich at the cost of healthcare cuts for the poor...to what lengths am I willing to go in building up this radical vision of the Reign of God that Jesus preached? What concrete action can I take today to "water" the Reign of God? Where and how do I see the Reign of God bursting forth in imaginative and radical ways?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JULY 16, 2017

In today's Gospel Jesus once again instructs the crowds with a parable, about a sower and the seed. But this parable raises as many questions as it seems to have answers. One such as: who sows costly seeds among the weeds and the thorns, and why? The good farmer, the successful farmer, sows seeds on good rich soil that has been prepared, fertilized and tilled, and yields a rich and abundant harvest! So why does Jesus tell the parable of the farmer who scatters seeds on bad soil, indiscriminately, wasting it among the weeds and the thorns...why sow it there? What is his point?

Parables are meant to get us thinking...just as we think we understand the point of the story, upon further reflection another layer is revealed. Like a fine gemstone, as we mull it over and turn it around in our minds, we discover more and more facets of the story that at first glance may not have been so obvious. That is the amazing quality of the parable. In this parable, some interpret the sower as God and the indiscriminate sowing of the seeds as an example of God's all-inclusive love for all peoples. The seed sown is "the Word" offered to everyone, regardless of the potential that they will actually accept it and allow it to grow within them. Perhaps God sees possibilities of growth and abundant harvest amongst the thorns and rocky soil that we cannot even as yet imagine!

What are the "thorny or stony parts" of my life where the seeds of the Gospel have yet to yield an abundant harvest? Where in the world is the rocky soil on which God has sown seed from which is springing new growth at this moment, that both surprises and de-lights? Where am I being called to tend to "new Gospel growth", that needs to be cultivated and nurtured?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JULY 9, 2017

Today's Gospel invites us to "rest in Jesus"...to turn our burdens over to Jesus and allow the power of the Spirit, dwelling within us, to empower us to push on...ever forward...knowing that we do so not alone but with the presence of the very one who created us and loved us into being.

Jesus does not dismiss the burdens of life. On the contrary, Jesus recognizes just how heavy they are and in the midst of the struggles of our lives he offers to be with us and help us. We are not asked to set our burdens down at the door of the church as we enter...but rather we are invited to bring them to the altar and place them side by side with the bread and wine which we offer to be blessed and broken, transformed and shared.

This Jesus, the Christ, knows first hand of our human burdens and understands our suffering....we need not fear that our God does not understand, or does not care...the message of all of Jesus' preaching and teaching was just the opposite... our God knows us and deeply loves us and walks with us in the midst of our sufferings...our God weeps with us when we weep and suffers with us when we suffer. And as the Body of Christ, we are invited to reach out to others whose burdens and pain overwhelm them...to be the compassion of Christ to them...to help carry their burdens and to walk with them in the midst of their suffering.

Welcoming the stranger, the immigrant, the one who is "other", is an authentic living out of our discipleship...it incarnates the Gospel in the midst of our community. Ironically in our reaching out to others, often our burdens are lightened, our wounds begin to heal and we become more and more the living Body of Christ. Do I have burdens or old wounds that I am holding on to and not giving over to Jesus, that getting rid of might allow me to be more available to my sisters and brothers in need? Whose burden or pain am I being called to help carry, how might I do that?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JULY 2, 2017

Jesus asks for total loyalty from his disciples! Allegiance to what ends? As we celebrate the birth of our nation we naturally think of things like the "pledge of allegiance", the oath we make to our nation, to defend her and to stand by her...and we recall the many brave women and men down through almost two and a half centuries who have risked and given their lives so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we do.

Jesus was clear that he expected his followers to "be all in", to choose him over their mothers and fathers, over their sisters and brothers and even over their daughters and sons. This must have sounded absurd! Who could do that, they must have asked? To choose Jesus over your family was to make a choice that would mean that you would lose the ones who would care for you in old age, or in the event of illness, choosing Jesus would mean your future would immediately become much more precarious!

What was Jesus asking of his followers? It seems that Jesus was asking his disciples to put him at the center of their lives and from this center to move outward to others. These words of Jesus' taken in the context of the fullness of his message to love God with our whole selves and our neighbor as ourselves gives us insight into what he is suggesting. If indeed we are able to place Christ at the center of our lives we will be less self-absorbed, less harsh towards others and more kind, generous and loving. By consciously and reflectively living Christ centered lives we become more and more rooted in our relationship with Christ and ultimately our relationships with our sisters and brothers can blossom and become fuller and deeper, more authentic human encounters with our sisters and brothers.

By placing Christ at the center of my life I prioritize my life in such a way that the priorities of the Gospel become the priorities of my life, that Gospel values of justice, peace and the integrity of creation are no longer simply "nice ideals to work for" but rather "fundamental imperatives" around which I build my life, create family and live out my relationship with God and others.

Am I putting anything or anyone ahead of Christ and my relationship with God that I need to reconsider so as to live a more Christ centered life....so as to re-center my life! How does my relationship with God impact my relationship with my family and with others? How might strengthening or deepening my relationship with God impact my relationship with my family and others?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JUNE 25, 2017

In this weekend's Gospel Jesus warns against fear. Fear has been the cause of the destruction of entire peoples and cultures, the cause of one war after another and still we do not learn just how disastrous for humanity fearmongering can be. Poets, philosophers and mystics alike all have warned that it ultimately leads to the deadening of the soul and disconnection from the human family.

Last November, Pope Francis warned that wherever there is fear, there will always be someone who will manipulate it to their own good. "Because fear, besides being good business for merchants of weapons and death, weakens and destabilizes us, destroying our psychological and spiritual defenses, anesthetizing us to the suffering of others and, in the end, making us cruel."

We find ourselves in the midst of a fear-ridden country, people all around us shouting of "the coming end" that is about to beset us all, and yet Jesus who found himself in a not too dissimilar geopolitical situation (think the Roman occupation of his native country) called his followers not to fear but to have faith....to not give into fear!

We too are called to not allow ourselves to be ruled by fear and allow it to turn us into cruel people who think of ourselves first and only, and leave the less fortunate to fend for themselves. Pope Francis has said that mercy is the "best antidote" to fear! And in the same speech, called for us to partner that mercy with courage. We need courage to do the right thing in the face of fear which causes communities to want to build walls instead of bridges and makes peoples choose open conflict rather to embrace the differences of others.

In a very real way we are called to "walk towards our fears" and not run from them. Walking towards our fears takes courage, but we must not forget that we do not walk that journey alone, we walk with Christ! What fears am I being called to walk towards with Jesus in my life? How might I show courage in the face of fear?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JUNE 18, 2017

The Body and Blood of Christ are not only something we "get" at every celebration of the Eucharist...it is what we become! We believe in the "real presence" of Christ in the Eucharist and while we will never fully understand how this is, we gather each Sunday, around the "the table of the Lord" to be nourished...and to be changed...changed, ever more fully, into the Body of Christ. Through our receiving the Body and Blood of Christ...Christ lives in us and we in Christ and thus we become the Body of Christ.

This "indwelling" of Christ in us both as individuals and as community has enormous implications for our lives....individually and communally. We become "the Body of Christ", present in the world...called to be the visible compassion and love of Christ reaching out to the immigrant, the refugee, to those discriminated against and treated unjustly, "to be for" all those who suffer and who are in need.

As Christ was "for the world" so too we are to be "for the world". Our daily action, our work, our relationships all of them must reflect Christ. Our lives should be a living witness to the words, actions, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are called to live our lives in such a way that we become visible, tangible signs of God's love for all people, and the Eucharist emboldens and strengthens us to be able to do this.

How does my life reflect my being part of the Body of Christ? When I leave Mass what do I take with me into the world? What am I being called to "pick up" or "lay down" in my life that I might, more fully, live as a member of the Body of Christ?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JUNE 11, 2017

Each year as we celebrate the feast of Holy Trinity my mind always returns to an 8th grade classroom and a tall red haired nun named Sister Mary Janelle. I recall her patiently helping me and my classmates as we wrestled with the concept of the Trinity -- three Persons who were at the same time individual, but yet one. As she went through theological gymnastics trying to help us understand, ultimately she conceded that it was a mystery...mystery with a capital "M".

At the time my classmates and I felt it was a bit of a "cop-out" on her part...but now over 40 years have passed and I have come to see her wisdom, and have come to be comfortable with, and truly enjoy, the concept of mystery. We live in a society that thinks it can know all things, that demands to have concrete explanations for everything. But the reality is that ultimately God is beyond our understanding. Today I realize that I am part of a religious tradition that has passed on a faith...a faith filled with mystery and awe in our God. There is a consensus of our ancestors that embraces revealed truths that are essentials of our faith that will always lay just beyond our capacity to fully understand.

The Holy Spirit has been sent into our hearts to lead us headlong into "The Mystery"...to live out in concrete terms what we say we believe even though we do not fully understand. Our lack of understanding has no impact on The Mystery itself...The Mystery desires us and loves us just as we are...conflicted and wrestling with our faith. One of the most important realities is that we remain engaged in our spiritual journey...wrestling with our faith...wrestling with God! How comfortable am I with the concept of "mystery"? How do I engage in living out my faith? What am I wrestling with at this point in my faith journey?

Blessings,
Fr Tim

JUNE 4, 2017

St. Augustine said that the Spirit blows where the Spirit wills...not exactly comforting if you are someone who likes things neat and orderly or if you prefer to have life all figured out and neatly packaged. Most of us would prefer to see life's decisions as right or wrong, good or bad...as if everything in life were black and white. The problem with life is that most of the time we are living in the grey, everything is not black and white! This is where the Holy Spirit offers counsel, the challenge is to be open to Her counsel! The Holy Spirit blows where She wills and inspires and guides whomever She chooses, whenever and wherever She chooses.

Most of us get used to a particular routine and we find comfort in doing things in particular way and we find discomfort when our routine gets changed by outside influences or when we are forced to do things in a different or new way. It is no different in the church, we all get comfortable in the way we worship, in the way we pray, in the way we sing, in what we sing, and then when change comes we suddenly are set off center and we feel "off balance" at the change or new ways.

I am sure that many in the church today see the Pope's challenge to live a radically gospel-centered life as a change from what they were used to. In answering the Gospel's call, Pope Francis has called us out of the church buildings and into the streets to be a "field hospital" where binding up the wounds of the poor and brokenhearted is a priority. The Pope is following the call of Christ, who calls us to be a welcoming presence to immigrants and refugees, to seek out the lost and forsaken and to "be" the word of peace in the presence of war, to "be" the word of love spoken to the lonely and marginalized of the world, to "be" the word of justice and equality spoken in the midst of injustice, racism and exclusion. As well, we are called to be caretakers of creation, to take responsibility for the way we live on the planet personally, communally, nationally and internationally.

While all of this can all seem overwhelming, we need to remember that we are not called to do all this by ourselves but rather it is in and through the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit within us that we that we are able to do all good things! As we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost let each of us ask ourselves to where and to what is the Holy Spirit calling me?

Easter Blessings,
Fr Tim

MAY 28, 2017

As we celebrate the feast of the Ascension I cannot help but reflect on the many ideas and concepts that swirl around this feast...some with unintended consequences! The word "ascension" itself conjures up images of Jesus rising up into the clouds to join the Father and the Holy Spirit somewhere "up there"... far, far away. The problem with this is it can lead us to believe that heaven is "up there" and we are "down here" and that God is far off and distant from us and from our lives.

This is in stark contrast to the heart and soul of the meaning and significance of the incarnation. The truth of our God having become "incarnate" (in the flesh) in Jesus means that God is with us...not some remote deity watching us from afar. We need to recall Jesus' promise "I am with you until the end"! These simple words are most profound...there is no need for us to stand gawking skyward with our jaws hanging open. While the physical presence of Jesus Christ as a singular human and divine presence no longer walks the earth...Christ is here, as close as our own breath, keeping us alive to be his presence in our world. As we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus let us celebrate the presence of the Risen One in our midst!

Before his ascension Jesus gave a clear command and mission to his disciples...to us. We are charged with preaching the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and to be that healing, loving and welcoming presence in a world filled with sickness, hatred and exclusion. Filled with the "real presence we are sent forth to stand up and be the voice of the voiceless, to speak out on behalf of those who are silenced or ignored, to make sure that all forms of hatred, racism and bigotry are not left unchecked. Filled with the Spirit we speak the truth of the Gospel to power, whether convenient or inconvenient, whether garnering us friends or marginalizing us, it is our call as disciples of Jesus Christ!

How can I "stand up" for the Gospel, in the public arena and in my personal life? How might I be a "healing, loving and welcoming presence"? How do I experience the real presence of God in my daily life?

Easter Blessings,
Fr Tim

MAY 21, 2017

Pretty much everyone has felt lonely, abandoned by friends or loved ones at some point in their lives. Most of us have felt fearful, wondering how we will make it through rough times with our children or parents or siblings. We suffered personal loss or illness and wonder if we will be able to go on. Today's Gospel tells us that in the midst of our "lost-ness"...in the midst of our suffering... in the midst of fear or sense of abandon that we are never truly alone, we are not abandoned, we are not orphans....for the Risen Christ remains with us.

When I was little I used to think that Christ was with me....but only when I was doing something good....or only in holy or sacred places. Oh...how wrong I was! Jesus tries to help his disciples understand that no matter what they "feel"....no matter where they go, he will be with them...and even more....the Holy Spirit will be given to them and find a resting place within them. We are the inheritors of this same promise. We are never alone, never abandoned! Our God is always with us...even when we can't feel that presence or sense it...God is with us. Even in the midst of our worst moments, our most selfish actions...even in the midst of our greatest sin... God is present and loving us through that dark moment.

And of course that means that God too is present in and with "the other" in their worst moments, in the midst of their most selfish actions! God's presence is not dependent on our actions, we do not control God's presence! No matter how desperate our situation is, God is with us....loving us in the midst of it all.

The real question then seems to be...so what will my response to that loving presence be? How do I respond to "the other", who also, is so deeply and passionately loved by God? How do I share God's love with the immigrant, the refugee, marginalized, the one who is "other" to me? What is the Holy Spirit calling me to...or away from?

Easter Blessings,
Fr Tim

MAY 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day to all our mothers and to all the women who mentor and care for us and create opportunities for us to grow into the fullness of our potential, may God's most abundant blessings be upon you today and all the days of your lives! Thank you for all you do for us!

In today's readings, in the First Letter of Peter we are reminded that we are chosen and precious in the sight of God and in the Gospel Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled, to have faith in him and in God, that he goes to prepare a place for us and will return to take us to him so that we might be where he is! These readings today offer us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on God's love for all of us, thus a diversity of dwelling places for us, a place for each one of us, no one is excluded by God, because indeed every child, woman and man is precious to God.

Jesus tells the disciples that he is the way, the truth and the life, and we know God and see God through him. Pope Francis reminds us that "Jesus is the face of the Father's mercy". So in seeing Jesus' merciful words and actions the disciples were seeing God's mercy in action. Jesus tells his disciples that through their belief in him they will be able to do what he has done and even greater!

Perhaps what is "even greater" is that Jesus talks about allowing the risen Christ, who dwells within us, to transform us into the presence of God's mercy in the midst of a wounded and suffering world. Perhaps the call of the Gospel is to allow ourselves to become "the face of the Father's mercy", to take on the mantel of mercy as Jesus' disciples. To be willing to make meaningful changes to our lives in order that we might better show forth God's mercy in our words and actions.

As a nation, what role should "mercy" play in our response to our immigration and refugee crisis, criminal justice reform and to our other national debates currently raging? Is mercy even a value being discussed? How can I be more merciful in my words? What specifically can I do to be more merciful in my actions? Who in my life right now is most in need of being shown mercy?

Easter Blessings,
Fr. Tim

MAY 7, 2017

This weekend is traditionally known as "Good Shepherd Weekend". And so we might ask ourselves how good are we at recognizing the voice of the "Good Shepherd" in our lives? Does it come through loud and clear, or is it distorted by the noise and frantic-ness of our lives? Are there too many other competing voices...of work, anxiety and worry or family and commitments for us to hear God's voice speaking to us? Or are we able to hear those whispered words of God in and through our work and family and daily living?

In today's gospel, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, says his sheep know his voice and follow him. They are not fooled by the voices of strangers, with bad intentions, calling out to his sheep...but listen only to his voice and seek to follow him. But this takes attention and listening, one thing that often seems in short supply in our modern stressed out life.

The life that Jesus calls us to is by its very nature countercultural, it runs against the grain of much of what our modern society values. While, as Americans we love to wrap ourselves in our flag and the bible...we rarely actually follow Jesus' clarion call to create a loving, inclusive, peaceful and just society...at all costs...and to be single-mindedly focused on building up the Reign of God. While many in our society are quick to call us to war against "the godless," are we really building a society that actually follows the call of the "Good Shepherd" to bind up the wounds of the poor and discarded, to reach out and heal those injured by injustice and indifference, to stand up against racism, bigotry and all forms of decimation that demean the dignity of the human person? Whose voices are we listening to in our national discussions on topics like care for the earth, civil rights, education reform...and as we debate healthcare reform, whose voices are we really listening to...the Good Shepherds? Would Jesus recognize us, as his disciples, from the fruit this work?

How do I listen for God's voice in my life? What do I need to do to make more time to listen to the words God speaks to me in and through the people, places and events of my daily life? When was the last time I heard God calling me to something...and to what was it?

Easter Blessings,
Fr. Tim

APRIL 30, 2017

The Gospels walk us along a journey with Jesus that ultimately leads to Jerusalem, to his torture, crucifixion and death.... but ultimately to the glory of his resurrection. Today's Gospel begins with two disciples leaving Jerusalem, their hopes dashed and their hearts broken...they sadly say..."we had hoped"... they encounter a stranger with whom they share their story and their own doubt at the testimony of the women who had encountered an angel with glad tidings of the resurrection and all the ensuing confusion amongst their group. Their faith seems gone...their hope vanquished.

But Jesus will not allow them to continue in their despair....he goes after them in an attempt to turn them around...to restore their hope and their faith...ultimately giving them a new purpose in life...the proclamation of the Good News of the resurrection! As they walk along the road their hearts are set afire and burn with in them... their hope and faith in this Jesus Christ is rekindled. Jesus reveals himself to them in the breaking of the bread...they dared not even speak the question of who this stranger might be...for they knew! And even though he vanished from their midst...he remained with them in their trembling hands that held the bread that had been broken and blessed...he remained in their burning hearts. In his absence they felt his real presence and they were forever changed.

Regardless of how many times we may turn away and walk down a different road...Jesus comes after us...he seeks us out and set our hearts afire once again. Each time we gather to bless, to break and to share the bread, Christ is present and invites us to share of his very self. And in this sharing we are more and more transformed into the Risen Body of Christ...not for ourselves but for the sake of the life of the world! We are sent, just like to the original disciples, to carry forth "The Presence" into a broken world so desperately in need of healing...we are called to be the stranger who walks with those whose hearts are breaking, whose hopes are dashed...we are called to be bread broken and shared for the sake of the world.

Like the breaking of the bread moment for the disciples, what moments have I had when I felt the presence of the Risen Christ in my life? How did it affect me? How can I be "the Presence" to others in my life? Who has been the least likely "Presence" to me...what did I learn from the encounter?

Easter Blessings,
Fr. Tim

APRIL 23, 2017

The amazing stories of encounter and of resurrection continue and more and more of his followers claim to have seen and talked to him, but it is all so strange, it is all just too much to believe so Thomas proclaims that not until he sees, not until he touches, will he believe this outrageous resurrection story! Can you blame him? Imagine being there at the very beginning, being amongst the first to whom Jesus appeared and whom were told about Jesus' appearances! It must have all been so frightening and bewildering.

Thomas and others must have felt overwhelmed by it all, and so no wonder he doubted and demanded to see and touch for himself! And Jesus appears and offers Thomas his hands and his side to touch and see, that yes, indeed, it is he, he has risen and he is alive! How even more disorienting THAT must have been! And when Jesus appears to the disciples even though most of them had deserted him and some had even disowned him, Jesus shows no anger or resentment but only offers his peace and forgiveness...his mercy!

And as we celebrate the resurrection, God's gift to us of eternal life, we celebrate too, God's mercy; God's love and forgiveness which falls upon us as gently as the rain, neither earned nor measured, freely given, for us to take and receive. For or from what in my life might I need forgiveness? Is there someone I need to offer forgiveness to? How is God's mercy present in my life?

Easter Blessings,
Fr. Tim

APRIL 16, 2017

On that first day of the week, while it was still dark...Mary went to the tomb only to discover it empty....then she ran to Simon Peter and the other disciple. She was in a hurry to share what she had found; and by her sharing, a small community took up the search for Jesus...only to eventually discover "The Christ"..."The Risen One".

Though we know well the Easter story, do we ever fully grasp its meaning? The stone has been rolled away...the tomb is empty for resurrected life cannot be contained! Like the first believers, we so often must continue to live even with our dashed hopes, our suffering and our misunderstanding of God's mysterious power. Like the first believers, we come to the tomb and expect to find death, but instead we find signs of a new life that we cannot even begin to comprehend. Like the first believers, we do not realize that all of history has been broken open and is now filled with the resurrected presence of the Risen One!

This is the day the Lord has made... let us rejoice and be glad!!! Like the disciples let us actively seek the risen One in our midst...in the ordinary of our daily lives...for as surely as Christ appeared to the disciples, Christ now appears to us in our lives, even in the midst of death, sorrow and pain, Christ is present and this is what helps us carry on! Let us keep our eyes, ears and hearts open to the presence of the Risen One. Let us, like Mary, run forth to share the good news of Jesus Christ with all the world!

I pray you all, God's most abundant Easter blessings,

Fr. Tim

APRIL 9, 2017

Palm Sunday begins with joyful Hosannas and then we, so quickly, move to the suffering and death of Jesus. It is all so emotionally overwhelming. But the joyfulness of the Hosannas still ring out even after we enter into the Passion. Why?...because, even as absurd as it sounds, our God loves us so much, that God was willing to pour out, to empty of self, even unto suffering and death, so that we would see once and for all that there is no length to which God will not go to prove how much we are "the beloved"!

The whole of the message of the suffering and death of Christ is bound up in this reality...we are deeply and passionately loved by God...just as we are! God continues to love us even in the midst of our brokenness and sinfulness. So much so, that God's very self, in the flesh, was willing to suffer and die to show forth that love and to pour forth forgiveness upon the face of the all the earth. The Passion story is ultimately a love story...there is none greater than this!

Am I able to accept God's love and forgiveness as freely as it is offered to me? Is there someone I need to share that love and forgiveness with? As we careen toward Easter...what will my resurrection story be? What will I be "resurrected" from?

Palm Sunday Blessings,
Fr Tim

APRIL 2, 2017

In today's Gospel Jesus raises his good friend, Lazarus, from the dead. The retelling of this event is meant to show forth the power Jesus has, even over death. Embedded in the story is also a story of love, Jesus' love for Martha, Mary and Lazarus. This is not an amorphous love...a wishy-washy love of all people... but a particular love of particular persons. Perhaps it is meant to try and tell us of the particular love that God has for us...each one of us...a love which is uniquely for us individually. God knows us as individuals and loves us just as we are! Even in the midst of our brokenness, even in the midst of our sinfulness...God loves us! And it is that love for us that holds the power to raise us from the death of sin to new life.

As much as Lent is a penitential time, so too it is meant to be a time of healing...a time of preparation for our own resurrection. What will my resurrection story be this Easter? From what, is the love of God trying to raise me up? In the Gospel Jesus asked the people to "roll away the stone" so Lazarus could come out, what stone am I being called to "roll away" so others may come out from their "tombs"?

Lenten blessings,
Fr Tim

 

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