This is one of those Gospels where 90% of Catholics either wonder it was they just heard as they mumble “thanks be to God” or miss it entirely (statistic entirely made up).
Jesus tells the story of a financial advisor who messes up and destroys his employer’s portfolio. Then, before he is fired, he goes out and accepts various partial payments as full payments without permission. Thus, he makes friends with those who were able to settle their debts at fractions of the full amount due. This ensures he has opportunities once he is fired.
The crazy part? Jesus seems to affirm this man’s behavior!
What is actually happening here?READ MORE
Growing up, I loved hearing my name during the First Reading of various Masses throughout the year. As a little boy, that story about Goliath was rocket fuel for the imagination!
A few years later, I was even happier to hear my namesake was not only in the Bible, but wrote some of it!
As I entered my teenage years, I found out God referred to David as “a man after his own heart” and I loved my first name all the more.
Then, I read more about the life of David. Adultery? Check. Murder? Check.
How could this be? Surely he was being confused with another David.READ MORE
Life can be difficult.
It can be tempting to look at all the advantages others seem to have - better connections, deeper pockets, good looks, greater intelligence, inspiring creativity - and think God couldn’t possibly use to some great end.
The book of Wisdom asks a simple question: “Who can know God’s counsel, or who can know what the Lord intends?”
I recently reread the book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell. (Despite its name, it is a secular book.) In one of the first chapters, he reminds the reader of every obvious advantage Goliath had: his height was estimated to be closer to seven feet tall than six, he was muscle-bound, gifted at the art of close combat, and wore only the thickest armor and carried the most devastating armor.READ MORE
Do you consider yourself a strong Catholic? You might find this week’s readings a bit challenging.
Do you struggle with your faith and fear you have a long way to go in order to be holy as most of the other people in church? These readings should sound like honey.
We are told plainly in Luke 14 to avoid sitting in a place of honor, lest we be humbled when told to move. This is akin to anyone who always knows best, only to eventually taste embarrassment when they are not universally lauded for their opinions. We are, after all, told self-exultation leads to humiliation.READ MORE
Parishioners of Our Lady of Joy! Do you understand what God is accomplishing with your cooperation? It is amazing.
Currently, we have many Catholics returning to our parish through your welcoming spirit and the multitude of ministries your volunteerism, financial contributions, and prayers continue to support!
The preschool, children’s catechesis, youth ministry programs, and adult faith formation programs are flourishing!
Organizations like Knights of Columbus are raising money to help worthy causes and powerful parish events—like largely subsidizing our parish bringing in nationally-recognized speakers for our next two parish missions!READ MORE
I remember a recent conversation about the mercy of God. One of the people said, “If a serial killer is in heaven, I don’t want to be there.” I thought the person better tread carefully. Thanks to our free will, God will allow us to make that choice. But it sounds dangerously like the brother in the story of the prodigal son—unwilling to accept his father’s forgiveness.
I would propose his mercy is a much tougher pill to swallow than his judgement - although the two are inextricably intertwined.
We can all grasp the judgement of God. Why? We have all been hurt and would like to see the perpetrator get what is coming to them. Judgement from a just judge can be scary, but our minds can make sense of it.READ MORE
When I speak or write about key differences between us and our protestant brothers and sisters, my intent is not to drive a wedge between us. We certainly have much in common and must join together in our fight for life, morality and religious freedoms. There are many holy men and women in other denominations. Yet, it is important to understand there are differences and why we believe what we believe.
Toward the end of Luke 12, we read the following: “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.”READ MORE
The national average cost of a 10x10 storage unit is just under $1200/yr. It is the cost of storing all the stuff you can’t even fit in your own home.
$1200 also buys 112 cans of infant formula on Amazon that could be donated to an organization like Maggie’s Place (that supports young women who kept their babies).
There is so much that $1200 could do. Yet, so many of us are afraid that we might need something or we have an emotional attachment to something.
I know there are some very legitimate reasons to rent a storage unit. And beyond that, I can’t tell you how to spend your money or what to do with the things you’ve accumulated. But Jesus can.READ MORE