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Do not be afraid. Just have faith. Mark 5:36

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Offer It Up! Monday, December 31, 2012


We remain in the heart of the Christmas Season, joyfully praising God for the wondrous revelation of His love. In our midst remains Christ the Lord always intervening for us at the Father's side. The culture of the world tries too often to distract us from the wonder of what we celebrate, that God has entered time and dwells among us. We will gather today to celebrate once again the mystery of all this. In Eucharistic joy, we unite our whole being to Christ present in the Eucharist, and hopefully, advance in our understanding of this wondrous gift and of each other as children in the one family of God.

We listen to Jesus as He tells us to be as little children, trusting in the love of the Father. We listen but do not understand and we continue to seek to be greatest in the kingdom of man. Our egos too often lead us to tasting of the tree of good and evil as the story of Eden remains ‘our story’ as we choose to live by our own lights and to ignore the will of the Father.

The wonderful discoveries of science, the progress of technology woos us into a false complacency that blinds us to wonder of created reality. As we discover the new and exciting knowledge of how created things work, we seem to find new ways to ignore the creator. In our discoveries we begin to understand in some way that we are gods, creators of the wonders that bring us ease and pleasure. We fail to understand that we are simply uncovering the wonders of what God has created and has in store for all eternity.

Today, may we all encounter the God of Love as we ponder the babe in a manger. Tiny infant and yet mighty God.

Praise Him who gives us life and invites us to fullness of life forever.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Sunday, December 30, 2012

Luke 2:46-52

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions,and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.

Maybe you’ve ‘misplaced’ a child or two in your family’s life together. On the annual family vacation, maybe somebody was left at the convenience store as you stopped for gas or maybe you left somebody at your brother’s house as you hurried to get back home. It didn’t take you long to realize the emptiness you felt without them around.

Could be what Joseph and Mary came to realize as the found out that Jesus was not with either one of them as they made their way to Nazareth. And then when they found Him in the temple, exchanging viewpoints with the teachers and asking them questions, they were taken aback at the consequences of the situation. A child with the elders of the church was probably not too common a sight those days.

Jesus didn’t seem to be bothered by the fuss whereas Mary and Joseph remained a bit addled and anxious, much like any mom and dad would be. First you go through the anxiety of not knowing where your child is then when you find them, they respond as if they should have been there the whole time... as if it should have been understood. As a parent, I have been on that receiving end and if that is where Mary and Joseph were, maybe then I too have some more understanding and learning to do.

As families go, we maybe could all learn more about coming together—trips or no trips, journeys or paths shared or solo. We can all learn from one another how to better survive the anxiety and the anger, the bitterness and the badness, the calamities and the cancers. We do that by learning more to love and letting go of what keeps us from doing so. And that can be done by coming closer to God in prayer and in worship... with one another in family and in faith.

1 John 2:7-11

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining.

Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

We’ve heard all that is old is new again. We’ve seen it in our lives as we come to mature and understand what we learned years ago and see happening again today. What our parents told us as they were told, we are now espousing to our children. What was being held as gospel then is in fact gospel today.

What John is telling us that what has been old is not new again but the same as it has always been: love one another as God has loved us. The commandment is the commandment; it has not changed nor has the love of God changed. If anything—anyone—has changed, it would be the world; it would be us in it that has changed. Changed some for the better, changed some for the worse.

The worse being the darkness. The darkness being the lack of God’s presence where He once was. Where He once was welcome, He is now pushed aside and added occasionally as an afterthought only when things get out of hand, get ugly, get to a point where we have nowhere else to go but to Him. We see it globally. We feel it personally. The darker it gets, the more light we know we need. Just how dark can it get before... the end?

It need not get darker as we come to love more, give more and be more as we love as God Loves. Equally, unconditionally and each day we are given. That is how we ‘remain in the light’ and lead others to salvation. It cannot be done with the blind leading the blind.

Matthew 2:13-15

When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him."
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.

In scripture we have heard and or read that we are sometimes given a certain amount to see what we would do with a certain amount more. Those who have little, more will be given. And even those who have much, more will be asked of them. The gospels are replete with parables from Jesus, telling us that the way to go is to give and give more of what we have, just as He did.

Joseph did just that. Imagine the quandary he was in. First with a woman who was pregnant with a Child not from him. Then he travels with her to save her and the Child. And now the angels are telling him to ‘flee to Egypt’ so that the Child may be spared. He didn’t have anything but he did have his wife and the Christ Child. For whatever reason, he knew that was enough. He loved them that much to do as the angel told him.

Those who have love as Joseph had love and gave love should do likewise. Even those of us who aspire to have love like his should do the same. He heard the response to his prayers and trusted completely that God would take care of them. How often do we respond in faith as Joseph did when God gives us more? More of a good thing or even if it seems more than we can handle.

As with Joseph, he was being sent to prepare the way of the Christ King. Let our lives be as Joseph lived and love more—never less—as we open our lives for the newborn King.

1 John 1:1-4

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life—for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us? What we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

John truly wanted to get The Word out, to proclaim all that he had witnessed and all that he could fully relate in his walk with Jesus Christ. To do so meant to immerse himself even more into the life he felt called to live, even as those who claimed to be his followers were not acting so much as they should. As it is today, it was difficult then to let go of those things of the world that keep them from drawing closer to God’s plan for them.

You were either with the plan to follow Him—you can’t do both—or you were still in the camp to do more or less as you pleased and make your ‘salvation plan’ on your own. There were those that tried to have it both ways yet their materialism and their egos clouded their judgment and their sense of values. You don’t have to think too much out loud to know where that sort of behavior led them and how many commandments were defiled or broken.

John tells us that the Word was made flesh to bring us out of the darkness we put ourselves in when we make our own plans. Jesus knew what He was getting into, contrasting our plans when we have no clue what we choose with the gift of our free will from time to time. He knew He was coming to save us from ourselves, to save us and to put us on paths of holiness, should we so choose to do so. Indeed, He came so that we would all ‘have life.’

John 10:10

I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.



Offer It Up! Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Shine Through Me

Dear Lord,

help me to spread Thy fragrance

everywhere I go.

Flood my soul

with Thy spirit and life.

Penetrate and possess my whole

being so utterly

that all my life

may only be a radiance of Thine.

Shine through me,

and be so in me

that every soul

I come in contact with

may feel Thy presence in my soul.

Let them look up

and see no longer me

but only Thee O Lord!

Stay with me,

and then I shall begin to shin

as Thou shinest;

so to shine as to be

a light to others.

Amen.

Blessed Mother Teresa



Offer It Up! Tuesday, Christmas Day, 2012

O Holy Night!

Titus 2:11-14

The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

The stars are brightly shining

as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.

'Til He appeared and the

soul felt its worth.



Offer It Up! Monday, December 24, 2012

Psalm 2: 4, 6-7

From his throne in heaven the Lord... says 'I have installed my king.' In turn the king says to me.
I will announce what the Lord has declared. He said to me: You are my son; today I have become your father... Serve the Lord.

Yes, we are on the threshold of serving at the Birth of our New Born King. Time is just about gone to do whatever it is you were planning on doing to make yourself ready for His arrival. Prepared or not—He is with us.

How many of us though would ever really fully be ready even if we were given an extra so many days to do so? Quite frankly, probably none of us, present company included, would be fully engaged to ‘serve the Lord’ as we have been called to do. Oh, we may think and talk it yet there are those areas we would just as soon leave to our control as opposed to letting God have His way.

Isaiah 44:22
I have swept away your sins like a cloud. Come back to me; I am the one who saves you.

And that is what God does for us when we do go our separate ways from Him. The darkness that the clouds of sin bring in our lives that block out the Light of His Love—He forgives and forgets. He takes away the clouds of doubt. He refreshes us with the baptism of renewal and transformation. He wants us to come back to Him. Yes, He is the one who saves us.

All this preparation time from these past weeks of Advent has brought us to this point: make way the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. What better path to take than the one with Him on our journey as we take our refuge in Him?



Offer It Up! Sunday, December 23, 2012
Happy Birthday Fr. Hoa!

We are fast approaching the day of celebration of the Lord's birth. And we listen as Mary sings her Magnificat… My Soul magnifies the Lord! How does Mary magnify the Lord but in the Spirit, the spirit prophesying through her that all generations would call her Blessed? And we sing her praises always and in so many ways, honoring her as the Mother of God.

Her hymn, her Magnificat, is prayed daily at evening prayer and we are reminded that we too are to be transformed so that we may magnify the Lord and become a clear lens to reveal his presence in the circumstances of our lives. There are those whom we meet at various times in our journeys who are waiting for a Word of invitation to come to meet the Lord Jesus. At each Eucharist we are sent forth to "Glorify God by our lives" by living as witness to the revelation of Jesus in His life, death and resurrection. As we meet those ancestors like Hannah and Samuel and Eli and see how they were preparing for the coming of the Messiah, we look to their relationships with God and we see in Jesus the promised one. We see in Mary the woman of faith from whom the Word took flesh.

During the next few days we will walk in our prayer with Mary and Joseph and be present at the birth of the God-Man, who came to reveal the fantastic love of God, and to redeem mankind. We struggle in faith to grow in understanding the mystery of it all. The mystery of life! God in His great love bestows on us the gift of faith and in the exercise of faith we grow in holiness. Each week we say those words "I believe…" and many times we are at least tempted to doubt. We must come to an understanding that to believe, to have faith, is to be always seeking to understand. Yet many today long for some proof, some completely scientific example of God.

Trust. Love. Do justice and when the moment you come face to face with the Lord, all will be well.

Come Lord Jesus.

Do not delay.

Deacon


Birthday note...

Happy birthday! A simple phrase to express the joy of another year here on earth. We say this to so many of our friends, relatives,and coworkers.


Today, while we get our hearts ready for the celebration of the birth of Jesus, we also celebrate the life and birth of someone that has giving his life to Christ and others.


It was a privilege to listen to your life story. We understand that for you, life is a gift, and we had learned through your example that it must be centered in God.
Looking at a small print of the small boat that brought you to us, our hearts response with only praises. Praise God that he survived the journey, praise God that He put this humble man in our lives to be our shepherd, our friend, our brother, our example.


We all pray that The Lord keep you healthy and joyful.
We all know that we are close at heart, and that your teachings are part of who we are today, for our good and for the good of others.


Thank you for walking with us through storms and rainbows.
You have a new garden to prune and nurture. It will flower and show the splendor of creation soon.


May God bless you always and may the Holy Spirit give you the wisdom and courage to continue your mission on earth, with joy and smiles.


Stay young not matter what....
How old are you today?

John 3:30

He must increase; I must decrease.

When people start learning to live smaller lives, they begin to understand more fully the life of humility and grace God intended for them to live. The lesson often does not come easy nor does it come on its own as we are always rumbling, stumbling and tumbling through our journeys, trying to do just that—make it all on our own and then, all about us.

So what does God do for us then to help us along this smaller, this ‘life-is-not-about-me’, humbler existence? Does He cut us some slack and pat us on the back and say ‘better luck next time’ as we try again and again to live as He has called us? He could. He is God. Does He recognize our sinfulness and weaknesses and allow us the beauty and grace of reconciliation? Well, yes again. He is God.

And does He bring to us those people in our lives that serve as difference makers, as life changers, as spiritual warfare warriors who dig deep into our souls and hearts and pull out the challenges and darkness of our paths so that we may walk more in His light? Yes, thankfully, indeed He does.

This warrior is unique in that the wisdom and love he shares is shown in his words, his life and his total commitment to the one True God he serves. Though mortal, he sometimes seems to be ‘super-human’ if not even angelic. When some wear their hearts on their sleeves, it is for their emotions to be shown. He wears his for his love to be cast out for all the world to have and to hold. Just as Jesus Christ has led him to do.

In our battles and trials and all we cannot handle, he stands for us and with us, just as Jesus Christ stands with us.

In our grief and sorrow, our loss and pain, his compassion and love is not just his but that of Jesus Christ as he fills the hearts with tenderness and peace.

In our renewals and transformations, our births and rebirths, our marriages and anniversaries—all the celebrations of new lives in Christ—he is there to remind us that we are all children of God and we are all coming even closer to Him in His light.

This warrior, this Servant of God, this Godly man lives as he talks. He sets the example for us all to follow, just as Jesus Christ set it for him. Our lives are different because his life is different in Christ. He would have us do the same for others as he has done for us...

‘Live small.’

‘It’s not about me.’

‘Suck it up.’

‘It’s okay.’

Happy Birthday to our dear and very good friend, Fr. Hoa. Truly you are a son and child of God.



Offer It Up! Saturday, December 22, 2012

Luke 1:46-56

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children forever."

How easily would we accept what God would have us do today? When we pray and get our response from God as Mary did, would we be so willing and open to say as she did—to have it done according to His Word?

We are familiar with the phrase or one similar, ‘Be careful for what you pray for’. Maybe Mary’s prayer before the angel Gabriel appeared to her was for her own sanctification, if that were even possible. Maybe it was her own path to holiness that she wanted even greater clarification. Maybe she was so close already that she wanted just that one indication, that one ‘sign’, that she was doing the things God wanted her to do.

Wow. Was she ever so ready. Ready to bring us the Savior of the World.

How ready are we? We may not be asked as Mary was but we are certainly called each day to bring the Good News of salvation to those in need. And, in a way, that is much like Mary did as she brought to us the Savior. We too can and should and must carry out her faithfulness and trust. We may further our own sanctification, on our own path to holiness, by renewing each day our faith and trust in God’s grace and mercy. Let us all continue to praise and give thanks for Mary’s ‘Yes’ and let our own response be as hers was.

May it be done to me according to Your Word.



Offer It Up! Friday, December 21, 2012
This is a prayer and blog piece from the bustedhalo.com site. As Advent comes to a close, it brings to focus how we may better answer God's call for us all.
Enough: An Advent Prayer for Newtown and For All of Us

Caitlin Kennell Kim, BustedHalo.com

Enough. This is enough. I look at the faces of our three children — our son the same age as the youngest victims of Friday’s tragedy — and I declare that this is enough.

It is Advent, the season of hope. It is the season of making ourselves ready for the coming of Christ. We … our grieving sisters and brothers in Newtown, Connecticut, and all of us who keep watch with them and pray with them and weep with them … have witnessed a dark shadow descend over this season of light. We have seen the hopes and dreams of little children and the selfless adults charged with their care extinguished by an act of indescribable violence. Enough.

We are a people who walk in darkness. In the mire of wanton death and destruction, we scratch and fumble and claw for some glimpse of light. And we have seen a light … small and fierce … beginning to penetrate the gloom. We have seen the people of Newton wrap their arms around each other in love and solidarity. We have seen the people of this country — people of all races, faiths and walks of life — express their care and support and outrage in the wake of Friday’s tragic events. We have seen an outpouring of love from all across the world. It is a precious ray of hope in this time of deep sadness. But love and goodwill (in and of themselves) are not enough.

We are called to recognize the fact that we have failed each other and to own the horror that our failure has been visited on the innocent among us. We — the grown-up people of this country — need to have the courage to engage in some difficult conversations.

We have heard a call. Terrible and deafening. We have heard a call that must shake us to our bones. We are called to be changed. We are called to recognize the fact that we have failed each other and to own the horror that our failure has been visited on the innocent among us. We — the grown-up people of this country — need to have the courage to engage in some difficult conversations. Conversations that we have avoided mostly because they make us uncomfortable. We need to talk about guns. We need to talk about the state of mental health care in our society. We need to recognize the tangled matrix of issues involved in these acts of mass violence and not throw up our hands at the complexity of these painful events, but get to work. The light we seek this Advent is one that lays bare our failure. But it is not a light that sows despair and shame. It is the light of Christ — the light that shows us our wounds so we can be healed. In this light, we can hope. In this light, we can be transformed. In this light, we can strive to honor the memory of those whose lives were ended so violently and so soon.

This Advent, Lord, hear us with one voice (a voice wavering with sorrow but clear and firm in resolution) proclaim that this is enough. Enough. Let your light — the light that the darkness cannot overcome — stir us from our complacency and sense of helplessness. Grant us courage to ask difficult questions and to accept that we must change. Wrap your loving arms around the community of Newtown. Give them the peace that is yours, the peace that passes all understanding. Bless and welcome the children and adults who have come home to you. Transform us, Lord. We have had enough. Amen.


Anniversary Note...

The more you hang out with certain people, the more you come to know those things that make them who they are. Of course the upfront things about family and work and such and more. That comes with the territory with most relationships. And as they grow and go, more of those things that are learned are not just the simple things like he likes that food and she likes that wine and she likes that movie and he likes that song. But more in depth, you find out that there is a love and faith and spirituality that transform them and their relationship—not to mention all those they meet and welcome into their lives. You come away from them saying things like ‘I’m not sure what they have going on but I want some of that for our marriage.’

For sure, there are similarities and there are dissimilarities.

There are opposites that attract and there are reflections that mirror one another to a ‘T’.

There are so many ways that they like and love one another that take on so many different praises, phrases, phases, stages and forms… so many that all the different praises, phrases, phases, stages and forms we could not, nor will we, list or even get into in this forum.

Proverbs 5:18-19

Let your fountain be blessed and have joy of the wife of your youth, your lovely hind, your graceful doe. Of whose love you will ever have your fill, and by her ardor always be intoxicated.

Suffice now and forever to say that that is the beauty and essence of what Liliana and Brad offer: that few other wives and husbands not only share with one another but give to others without condition or cost, much less want or need.

A life full of the acceptance of a life in Christ, in love with Him, in love with one another, loving those who He has given as gift in their lives from family to friend to stranger. A love that does not restrain itself for a single moment or an hour but is fulfilled again and again with the gift of each day God gives them. And they know that the true Love they’ve been given comes from God who continues to bring them ever closer to Him through the sacrifices they make and the crosses they carry.

That is their love.

That is what they believe.

That is who they are.

Happy Anniversary to Liliana and Brad. As you have done for others, may your faith and hearts be filled with the Love of Jesus Christ this day and always.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm [alone]? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three [strands] is not quickly torn apart.



Offer It Up! Thursday, December 20, 2012

Less than a week now remains. The Lord is near, come let us adore Him.

The language of the liturgy draws us closer to the mystery, of Christ dwelling in our midst. Our Advent actions lead us to Christ. As we approach the final days of anticipation, we continue to enter into prayer with the Lord, and perhaps for many to avail ourselves of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

During the last 7-8 days I have been able to spend more time in prayerful preparation for Christmas. Not always easy when feeling ill, but laid low enough to converse with the Lord. Reflecting on the season and where we are going is not so rewarding at times. It is difficult to be caught up in the modern interpretation of the Holidays—where Christmas and what it points us to seems to be overshadowed by advertising and consumerism. The good thing at Christmas, we do make an attempt to atone for our failures in maintaining loving relationships. We are inundated with advertising schemes to guilt us into buying gifts. The thrust of so much of the goings on in Advent is to consume dramatically.

On the highly positive side is the wonderful work being done by some to bring joy into the lives of many who are hurting, many who are destitute. Would that we as Christians would see clearly that these attitudes of giving and sharing are clearly part of the message of the Gospel and it is the kind of service to one another that is always called for.

Lord, during these final days of Advent hear our prayers and fill us with a desire to serve you in those we meet, especially those close to us, family, friends who are in need of a loving glance. Grant us hearts and minds that know instinctively what is most pleasing to you, and the courage and strength to always be faithful to your will. Come Lord, Jesus, be our guide.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We are hurtling now toward the real Christmas Season, not just Christmas Day and gifts, but the Season of joyful celebration and wonder, Christ Son of God, Son of Mary is in our midst. We rejoice in this celebration of Faith and hopefully let our voices herald the Good News and our living be a symbol of Christ in us.

Today we renew our experience of the Gospel account of Zechariah's receiving the message of the angel. We stand with the faithful and wait for Zechariah to come from the sanctuary of the Temple, and we too stand in wonder as we realize something beyond words has taken place. In our prayer hopefully we enter into dialog with Jesus, and express our own desire to understand more completely what has happened. Our pondering takes us deeply into the mystery as we imagine the emotions of Zechariah and Elizabeth as the power of God brings the wonder of the creation of a child into the lives that had abandoned hope.

We bring our own dreams and experiences, our own disappointments and failures into prayer and conversation with the Lord and hopefully begin to experience His presence. God has gifted each of us with Faith. We now are being challenged to exercise our Faith, abandoning our selfish desires with the help of His grace.

Perhaps we are in need of the support of like—minded people of faith. We come together with them hopefully and open ourselves to the outpouring of God's grace. Certainly, as we glimpse the wonder of God's love in Jesus Christ, as we experience His presence in the Eucharist and in other persons who love and strive to live holy lives, we begin to change and become truly what we were created to become.

In Jesus Christ we find the way, the truth, the life, that God has planned for us. And, painfully we discover that we too often choose to live only for self, and in so doing we

are blinded to the wonder of life beyond our wildest dreams.

As we approach, the Season of Christmas, may we all come to the stable in prayer, may we all find peace, as we sing with angels "Glory to God in the Highest and Peace on Earth to Men of Good Will."

Take time today to read the beginning of the gospel of Saint Luke and immerse yourself in the events of that time of wonder.

Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

Do not delay.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly."

St. Ignatius Loyola

This quote from St Ignatius was printed as quote of the day for December 17 in Zenit news from Rome. It seems to me that Ignatius' observation some 400 years ago can be applied to our modern day Christians. Abandon myself unreservedly to Him and allow His grace to mold me accordingly... I can pray for the grace to live this abandonment. I can begin today to turn to Him in the realization that prayer is being in His presence and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide all of my ways and all of my words and all of my hearing.

It is humbling to realize that I am one of the many souls who are not fully aware of what God can accomplish if I would abandon myself to Him, trust Him, and awaken to His presence in all aspects of my life.

As we approach the days set aside by the Church to celebrate Christmas, the Incarnation, I present my desire to you Father come to a fuller understanding of Your Love revealed in this mystery of Christ dwelling in our midst. The words come so easily to our lips, we cry out ‘Lord, Lord’ and celebrate ritually as our forebears have taught us, and too often we find ourselves only performing ritual in a shallow way. Too often, we celebrate hastily so that we can return to other pursuits that we find alluring and too often distracting us from the truth of who we are as Your beloved children.

Lord, during these final days of preparation open my heart and mind to the wonder of life with You, to the wonder of the love that is present in the world, and grant my desire to be constantly aware of Your will in the circumstances of my waking hours.

I give you thanks for all those You have placed in my life who have revealed by their actions and love that You are always near. Watch over them and fill their lives with the Joy that only You can give. Amen.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Monday, December 17, 2012

The Third week of Advent begins with a call to Rejoice. Christ is near. In the midst of our preparing and meditating of the Lord's Incarnation, we are shaken by the events of our time. A community is shaken to its roots by an evil act, ending the lives of 20 children, 6 and 7 years of age. Several adults also were killed in this senseless massacre. A community, a state, a nation, a world awakened to the evil in our midst. What to do? Why? This violent act is made more dramatic it seems because of the victims, the innocent young lives that are ‘snuffed’ out.

Sunday evening people of many faith traditions gathered in common prayer calling upon God to bring consolation and comfort to many who suffered loss, and to all of us locked in the grip of a culture of violence. It is time for God's people to enter the fray to bring and to bear the message of love and peace that we have been commissioned to proclaim to the ends of the earth.

The message that calls for peace.

The message that calls us to communion with one another in the work of Kingdom building.

The message that calls us to love.

As we look to the violence that is occurring around us, we must look within and identify the violence in our own hearts, and seek the Lord's grace in transforming hearts. We look around us and see the violence displayed in broken family relationships, in the treatment of the poor and dispossessed.

In the next days and weeks and for some time the discussion will be focused on guns, God grant that it may focus also on broken human lives that encourage violent behavior. What is God saying to your heart in your circumstances? And, what can you do or what concerns can draw you into action, perhaps with others who are like minded to work for a culture of life?

A life in Christ? What needs to change in our culture—in our lives—that will turn us away from this violence? Can we continue to abort life, not treat persons with the dignity required because they are God's children, continue to consume the earth without due regard for the effects on the planet?

May we remember the shattering events of this Advent 2012, and be awakened to the need to welcome the savior with open minds and hearts and a willingness to change our hearts where it is needed.

Lord, grant us eyes and hearts that are open to our need to trust in you and the wisdom and strength to give our whole self to you. Amen.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Sunday, December 16, 2012

The One who will baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire has come. We look ahead to celebrating the Incarnation, the mystery of Christ with us. We also look to the time when He will come again.

Today we listen to the Gospel and imagine ourselves in the crowd asking John the Baptist what we should do. We learn that it is justice and love that are called forth by looking clearly at what our place in the family of God calls forth from us.

Each of us can sit and reflect on our place in the family of God, in the body of Christ: our relationships in the family, in our community, in the Church family all the events in our lives that enable us, as those who are building God's kingdom.

The baptism we received or will receive is not John's baptism but it is baptism in the spirit Christ promised. Baptism is birth into the life of the Church while here on earth, and at the same time is birth into sharing the life of God. Clearly when we celebrate baptism we announce in faith that we become a child of God. We are anointed Priest, prophet and king to go out and live a life of holiness that witnesses to the divine light of the Spirit dwelling in us.

In this Year of Faith, all of us are being called upon to reawaken the divine spark within. We are being called to open our minds, our hearts, our entire being to the presence of Christ with us and to be open to the experience of His coming to transform us.

The evidence is overwhelming that we have too often missed the mark in living our faith in a way that gives witness to Christ's coming to bring us salvation. We are too often reticent in proclaiming the Good News of salvation, the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord.

For many of us we need to really enter into prayerful listening and allow our God to reveal to us where we have placed other gods before him.

As we draw nearer to the Christmas season may we find ourselves responding generously to His invitation to prayer, invitation to be merciful, to be just, to forgive where forgiveness is needed, to seek peace in difficult situations... to be aware always of the presence of the Lord.

This third Sunday of Advent is "Gaudete Sunday", or Rejoice Sunday a time to sing joyfully to the Lord in joyous anticipation. May the children... all the children come to Adore Him.

O Come Let us Adore Him.....Christ the Lord.

Deacon



Offer it Up! Saturday, December 15, 2012

Prayer of Peace

by St. John of the Cross

O blessed Jesus,

Give me stillness of soul

in You.

Let Your mighty calmness reign

in me.

Rule me,

O You,

King of Gentleness,

King of Peace.

Amen.



Offer It Up! Friday, December 14, 2012

As we cross the mid-point of Advent, for many our time is scheduled beyond our desires. For many we now are longing for a respite that will allow us time to be in the presence of He who comes. The light bearer, who if we follow Him, casts light on a darkened world.

The sights and sounds of the world are such a mixture of so many things. In the midst of all the Joy and the Sorrow that surrounds us, God is in our midst. In the midst of all the frenzied activity that purports to prepare us for Christmas, God is present. Do we discern that presence?

In our concern for satisfying the perceived requirement to exchange gifts, do we fail to acknowledge the greatest gift of all? How then do we respond to the mystery of the Incarnation? The gift of God's love that is Christ enfleshed and dwelling in the midst of mankind sharing life completely?

We know that in history Christ walked on this earth and made known to men the Wonder of the Father's love and the plan for life eternal for all mankind. We believe with our whole being that Christ dwells in our midst in Eucharistic presence in that was once bread and wine, is now flesh and blood.

He comes to us in the deepest possible union of love by giving Himself completely as our spiritual sustenance.

As we go deeper into Advent and near the Creche, when we look with eyes of faith on the scene of Christ birth, may we be absorbed and transformed by the experience to know His love and presence, leading us to new heights in our desire to follow Him always.

Deacon



Offer it Up! Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Isaiah 40:25-31

To whom can you liken me as an equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who created these: He leads out their army and numbers them, calling them all by name. By his great might and the strength of his power not one of them is missing! Why, O Jacob, do you say, and declare, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”?

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is God from of old, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.

How far away does God seem right now? Okay, maybe He’s not quite as far away for you as He seems to be for some us. Maybe He’s not so far out there in the stars, the thousands and thousands of stars and galaxies. Maybe He’s not even as far away as the moon. Could be that He is as near as the clouds at night. And for some, that could still be so very far away.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is God from of old, creator of the ends of the earth.

With some more ruminating and some more prayer time, one could bring their seeming and their thinking around to find that God is not so far away as they first thought. Imagine the Creator of all being as near as what He created. From the soil and grass on which we walk to the air we breathe and water we drink. Closer even than that—imagine Him being within us and being us. Imagine us being in His image and likeness.

He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the LORD will renew their strength

Imagine then some more of the power He can fill us with as we come even more to recognize all He has done for us. Even as we do or might grow weary from our crosses that we bear. Even as we stagger and fall under the weight and moral burden of our sins. Even as He reaches within us and pulls us up and nearer to Him, renewed once again in His Love and mercy.

They will soar on eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.



Offer It Up! Tuesday, December 11, 2012

As I take time each day this week to pray and reflect on the question "Is there Room in my Life for God? I keep in mind those who have gone before me. Most especially at this time I sit with Mother Mary and wonder at what it meant for her to experience the presence of God in such power. The power of the Holy Spirit will overshadow you.

As I attempt to make Room in my Life for God, I also wonder at that phrase to make room for God. Has he not given me everything including life itself? To make Room for God seems to be a necessary conclusion. Yet, I know that in the living out of my life I have tended too often to crowd out the presence of God. Is it pride that causes me to think I can accomplish all things on my own?

Even in the ordinary events of life, exclusion of God reveals itself in my failure to seek assistance from others when clearly it would be the proper course. The same applies to God when I should be awake to His always being present I tend to look to my own powers and will.

This Advent Season the daily cry becomes "Come, Lord Jesus" as I join the universal Church in the celebration of the first coming of the Lord Jesus. He is with us now. As we celebrate Eucharist each day moving toward a focus on Christmas, we reawaken to the great mystery of the incarnation. He comes to us as the bread of life strengthening us with his grace, with his presence.

Go announce the Good News of salvation to the ends of the earth. Each of us, if we are open to making room in our lives for God, can by simple ways make known the wonder of our redemption.

Each of us can be alert to opportunities to reveal the person of Jesus Christ to others who may or may not have experienced Jesus as alive and present today.

How we greet one another, how we celebrate the season, how we respond to one another's needs all provide us with an awakening to God's presence. We are about to celebrate "Gaudete Sunday" the Rose (pink) vestments remind us to REJOICE ALWAYS the promise of a savior has been fulfilled and we look to His coming again in the fullness of time.

Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Monday, December 10, 2012

Week II of Advent 2012.

As we begin week two in our preparation to celebration the awesome event of the Incarnation, we take up this question: Is there Room in my Life for God?Hope fully we leaned in a positive direction as we pondered whether we dared to open our hearts to God. The first week of advent was a time to reflect on where we meet God in the ordinary events of life and to meditate on trust and willingness to surrender to Him in our daily walk.

This week we take a look at how we actually respond to the challenges of life each day and take up Luke's Gospel story of Christ's birth meditating especially on the message of the angel to Mary. We spend time getting to know Mary and also the relationships in her life Zechariah and Elizabeth. Who were they in the scheme of life in those days of God's revelation in Christ? In our prayer we let them speak to us and perhaps assist us in our own life decisions as we observe our own actions and wonder if there is room for God in our busy lives.

There are many signs of God's presence in our lives, and each day there are opportunities that present themselves to experience that presence. Do we make room in our schedules to be a awake to that presence? We take time to pray at the dawn of each day and hopefully each moment we are awake to the ways God chooses to enter into the events of the day. A chance encounter with God in the stranger we meet. The way we express our love for those close to us, family, co-workers, friends, those in need who are seeking assistance or perhaps simply in need of hope.

We are in the "in between" time. Christ has come and we are about to celebrate that first coming throughout the Christmas season; and we look forward to the coming of the Lord at the end of time. In Eucharistic celebrations we shout out Christ will come again. May they not be empty acclamations, but a joyful acceptance that each moment of life we are walking with the God who creates anew moment by moment.

Lord, hear our prayers and pour forth the graces we need to live in holiness of life happy to serve you by serving those you place in our lives. Fill us with longing for that day when we enter into your rest. Amen.

Deacon


Offer It Up! Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Week of Advent. Looking east we prepare to celebrate that Christ has come. He is with us; He has taken our human nature to Himself and longs to draw us into oneness with the Godhead. And so we ponder this week "Is there Room in My Life for God?"

We began our advent journey asking ‘Do I dare Open Myself to God?’ Hopefully we say our ‘yes’, fully intent on seeking to make our hearts a fitting dwelling place for God in Christ. Now having answered positively in Hope, we must sincerely and honestly examine our life and ask, is there Room for God?

As this second week of Advent begins, I look at the calendar of events and wonder where do I place God in all of this? Does my calendar reflect that I am as present to God as He is to me? Are the plans for my second week of Advent showing signs of my planning to include God in my daily life? Perhaps as I look closely I can see his presence in those events that I have scheduled, events that lead to loving God by loving those near to me. And what about those who enter my life who are homeless, in need, suffering from want and in need of a sign of God's love for them?

As I ponder these word I am haunted by the face of a man after 9 AM Mass on the feast of the Immaculate Conception. I did not listen to him as I should have. Did he receive what he needed as he sought out others? God have mercy on me in my lack of concern! Then, later in the day the voice mail requesting referral for a family in need of the basic necessities of life, housing, food. What was able to be done for them this day?

God you are present in so many ways, and yet we lack the trust, we lack the time it seems, to be your instruments of healing in difficult times. Despite our weakness, you remain faithful and allow us future opportunities to learn how to deal with life in a loving way. In your mercy, pour forth Your grace into all our hearts that we may together reveal the love You have revealed to us to a broken world; that we may be willing to give freely and totally of the gifts You have poured out that all may be one. That the oneness Jesus prays for may be a reality. Our Father...open our eyes, our hearts, our lives.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Friday, December 7, 2012

This first week of Advent the Prophet Isaiah leads us toward the wonder of God's love for all His people. The words of the prophet touch our hearts and open our eyes to enable us to see Christ in the gospels, to experience Him in the Eucharist, and to encounter Him in the brothers and sisters who share life and breath with us as we journey in faith.

Today we may look to Saint Ambrose one of the first Doctors of the Church. Ambrose was a clear and courageous voice in the early Church. Remarkably, God chose Ambrose to be bishop of Milan and history tells us He was chosen bishop and then became a catechuman. Ah the wonder of God's action among men.

This first week of Advent I return each day to the question "Do I Dare Open Myself to God?" Am I willing to surrender my life to Him and be His witness in every facet of my living? It is a daily challenge to be aware of God creating moment by moment, calling and choosing me in the circumstances of daily life to be sign of His presence in our midst. He comes to us daily in Eucharist; He comes to us daily in the many encounters with those who are temples of His Holy Spirit. His grace is poured out in abundance if only I am willing to be open and receptive, responding to His loving embrace in all things.

In the hustle and bustle of the Advent season, He beckons me to slow down, to pause in all the madness of a world gone wild with a consumer mentality, and to linger with Him in loving dialog, to glory in the gift of faith which is a treasure beyond any other.

Deacon

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom should I be afraid?

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek:
To dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
That I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD and contemplate his temple.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage; be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

The Lord is my light and my salvation.



Offer It Up! Thursday, December 6, 2012

Feast of Saint Nicholas

For most of us Catholics here in the U.S. we would likely be hard pressed to speak about Saint Nicholas. What do we know about him? I wonder how many of us could say when he lived, where he lived, why was he declared a Saint? Like many other saints in the Liturgical Calendar, we would do well to make it part of our spiritual quest to gain some knowledge of our ancestors in faith.

I have lived long enough to have seen how we have lost so many little faith developing customs that we would do well to revisit. Getting to know more about the Saints and selecting names for our children by seeking models from the Saints. I will leave Saint Nicholas for readers of AfraidNot to research and may be share some feedback of what they have learned about Nicholas. Any clues in his life that would link him to Saint Nick (Santa Claus)?

But on this day it would serve us well to reflect on the Scriptures for the day. Take a look at our spiritual temples and see if they are built on solid ground. As we continue to keep before us this week the Advent question of the week, "Do I Dare to Open Myself to God?", we pray for insight into our own desires for holiness and honestly seek to know ourselves and how willing we are to place our trust in God. Are we willing to open up our minds and hearts and surrender to the Lord?

Can we consider writing a blank check and letting God fill in the amount? If we can admit that God has chosen us, given us life for a purpose, then are we willing to submit to Him, completely trusting that God has our complete welfare at heart?

A long time ago in those early childhood days of faith the echoes still ring clearly:

Who made you?’

God made you.

Why did God make you?

To know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world in the next and to be Happy with Him in this world and forever.

Filling in and enfleshing those very early declarations of faith has been the task of a lifetime. Despite twists and turns, taking wrong paths at times, missing the mark, whatever the cost, Our Lord has left the flock to rescue me from being lost in the briar patches of life. The story is repeated over and over in many lives. God like the Hound of Heaven chasing us down varied ways always gently calling us to Himself.

This Advent may we find our way to Bethlehem in our Spiritual quest. May we find our way personally and collectively. May we all pray that as each Advent day melts into the incarnation we will all experience the presence of Jesus enfleshed in the hearts of everyone who seeks Him.

Deacon


Offer It Up! Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We continue our Advent journey in the early stages of this Year of Faith. Today we find ourselves in the crowd by the Sea of Galilee and Jesus is in our midst.

We have all come in our varied guises, broken in various ways by our sins, personal sins, social sins. Bodies broken from war time actions, some deformed and crippled; others lost in the uncontrollable weakness of psychological ills. All in need of the healing power of the Lord, and in Jesus we find that healing. The question of Advent persists. Yes, Jesus is in our midst; He has come in the Spirit and with Power and yet dare I open myself to God? I am aware at some level of the power and healing Jesus brings, but am I willing to give myself fully and trust in God with all my faculties?

As I take up the activities of each day, I find myself in a tug-of-war. I desire to follow the Lord with abandon, passionately, and yet I find myself doing what I dislike and holding back to trust in my own limited human nature rather than trusting completely in God. To love the Lord with all my heart, mind, strength and spirit is my desire and I fail too frequently when I fail to love Him in my brother, my sister who are present to me each day.

The wonders of creation which bring me pleasure become the focus of my life and I indulge myself in loving the creation but not giving proper gratitude and glory to the creator of all. I live in Hope that each day when I devote time to prayer, being aware of those tendencies within me to focus on self, that I am progressing in the spiritual path, being pruned of evil tendencies and bearing fruit that will last.

This day, Lord, continue to fill my life with the grace I need to serve you by serving my brothers and sisters. In that service, let your will be evident and my willingness to live according to your will be a source of grace to all who share this life of grace with me and with you.

Fill us all with an awareness of Your bountiful love, with the complete faith that You have chosen each of us and that we are bathed in Your love and trusting in You completely we will see Your glory and come to the banquet You have prepared for each of us. This day help us see more clearly the reason for any restlessness in our lives...that it is the desire You have placed in our hearts for You.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Advent with Luke...

Elizabeth is astounded when Zachariah returns home after his time serving in the temple. He cannot speak. What is this? Then he seems out of sorts—what has happened? All these years as Zachariah's wife and barren. God has not seen fit to bless their union with a child. Elizabeth is downcast at her status. Now suddenly she discovers she is with child. Zachariah finally reveals to her what occurred at the temple and how God has blessed them. God has seen fit to restore her dignity and favor her with a child. Openness to God has brought unexpected Joy to their household.

As I ponder the question, "Dare I Open Myself Up to God?" I imagine Elizabeth's reaction to a late pregnancy. She rejoices and yet still wonders why Zachariah was struck dumb after the angel announced the coming birth to him and Elizabeth. The child was to announce the coming of the Messiah. Does Zachariah's silence symbolize the long period of silence of God's prophets? Will this child be the reawakening of God's voice in time? A voice cries in the wilderness.

Sometimes my own life seems like a wilderness. Where is the voice that guides me out of the wilderness? Can I be patient and listen that I may hear clearly the voice of the Lord who loves me, beyond what I cannot fathom? As I look toward the coming of Christ again, I rejoice that He has already come and remains with us in Eucharistic Joy. I pray constantly that the Lord Jesus will guide me away from becoming a creature of habit who does not fully believe and live in His presence.

Bread and wine, Body and blood. He is so close. He comes as food and in uniting to Him in the Eucharistic feast, He shared His divine life with me and my brothers and sisters who believe.

One body with Christ we are called to shine so as to light the darkness. In our living we are to bring about the coming of the kingdom!

Lord, let me cry out unceasingly: Marana tha! Come, Lord Jesus.

Deacon



Offer It Up! Monday, December 3, 2012

Advent.

The entire season is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. Our Liturgical year once again draws us into the mystery. We live for the coming of the Lord now. Not in some way simply remembering some moments in history, though that too is part of our living. But rather we remember by living the mystery of Christ with us.

As we prepare for the celebration of the mystery of the Incarnation, it is a time of looking within. A time of reflecting on our spiritual journey toward God, and asking ourselves sincerely. "Do I dare open myself to God?" During this first week of Advent why not pick up the Bible and turn to Luke's Gospel and read the narrative of Christ's coming. Spend time this week with Zachariah, Mary, Elizabeth and Gabriel in the heart and in the imagination. Let the Gospel speak to you as you sit and quietly respond to God as did Mary, Zachariah and Elizabeth when the messenger the angel Gabriel came to them. He comes to you and I in our moment of time and we are chosen too. What is it we are invited to do with our lives as those who have been given new life through the new Adam, Jesus? Like Zachariah do I respond, ‘How can this be?’ Am I challenged by all the worldly attachments and distractions that lead me to doubt that God is even calling?

The world around me has hijacked the season and turned it into a consumer craze.

Happy Holidays.

Shop till you drop.

Black Friday.

All a myriad of ways to entice us to imagine we need and want all the latest gadgets that will lay around and gather dust too quickly, leaving us longing for more—more of what? Of what we just don't really know sometimes. Maybe we should listen to Saint Augustine's phrase, ‘Our hearts are restless, Lord, till they find their rest in you!’

This year, the Year of Faith, which the Church calls us to celebrate, is an invitation to proclaim the message of salvation. We could begin by living the Advent Season in a way that simply shouts out with Joy the message of Christ's entry into time. This is our ‘kairos’, our time, to shine like lamps on the lamp stand. Perhaps there are voices which shout out that we should worship in privacy. Our Lord sends us to announce to the ends of the earth the message of His love and redemption. As we pray this week, let it be with all those ancestors who have preceded us and pass the mantle of faith on to us and as members of the Communion of Saints, we listen to the Lord's call to us to do our part in announcing to our world in this time the message that has been entrusted to us.

There are those in our lives we can invite to share our faith. We can celebrate overtly by clearly stating ‘Merry Christmas’, and decorating at Christmas to reveal openly our faith in Christ's having come to pitch his tent among us. (Wouldn't it be wild to see visual images of the reason for this season at every turn?) Imagine if every family purporting to be Christian could and would portray the heart of Christmas, rather than consumerism's flags! We gather during advent at social events, and rightly so, yet we certainly need to reflect on the message our gatherings send out.

Advent prepares us for the Christmas Season. The most recent past is evidence that we fail to celebrate this wonder of Christmas. We begin at Thanksgiving, not because we remember Christ but because the business world is hawking its wares and beckoning us to stimulate the economy and their profiteering. Then on that Day of Christmas when we begin the season celebrating the coming of Jesus made flesh, we end it. The remainder of the Christmas season becomes a time of cleaning up and recovering from the frenzy of this and that and who knows what???

I wonder how many of us can look forward to celebrating Christmas Day, the feast of Saint Stephen, St. John the Evangelist and the Epiphany—all these days—in so many ways the wonder of Christmas. The true sounds and symbols that celebrate the wonder of God's love and the glorious life to which we are called. Each day this Advent we would do well to spend significant moments in prayer, crying out Maranatha ...Come, Lord Jesus.

Do I Dare to Open Myself Up to God?

Deacon


Offer It Up! Sunday, December 2, 2012

If you’ve ever taken a trip, be it via plane or train or automobile, you’ve had a pretty good idea where it is that you were headed. The west coast, not the west coast, overseas, Texas or someplace else in Texas or even your home state or home country like Colombia—maybe you knew how long you were going to be there, how long it would take to get there and get back… all that sort of stuff. The ‘certainties’ of the trip you might call them as you are fairly certain that those are the days and times you will be gone and the times you will be leaving and returning.

Raise your hand or say something like ‘Me too’ if you’ve ever felt like you could use something like that in real life. Something along the lines of God coming to you and saying this is exactly how it was going to be with the itinerary laid out for you and all the things set up for your success right there for you. Yup, all the success and all the stuff it was going to take to get there, too… even the heartache and heartbreaks. The grief and the sorrow. Even up to the time He will call you home. Even if that day were closer than you would want to imagine.

Would you want to live with such ‘certainties’ like those you would have on your trip? Would you want to have God spell out for you the day it would be that He would make for you a home at His banquet in His heavenly kingdom?

‘Okay, you have another 47 years to go. But years to me are, you know, like snapping my fingers. In other words, they are not very long.’

The point is not the years but the way we live them. Indeed it is all about the journey and not so much how much of it you have. So as nice as it might be to spend some time with our heads stuck in the clouds we have to remember to come back to earth and live as we were called to live… preparing ourselves for that time when we are called to that banquet. Not so to live in fear but to live for it in anticipation that we live with Christ here on earth.

 

May this New Year be the filled with the peace, joy, wisdom and grace that God gives you so that you may know more fully His will for you.

God bless you all and keep you in His Light.

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