I sometimes wonder if gratitude is one of the most attractive qualities on earth because it is one of the most rare. I know it is incredibly hard for me to attain and maintain. I think I know why.
I submit there are three types of gifts. There are the extraordinary gifts we possess, that very few in our world possess. There are the gifts that, although rare in the world, are more common in our everyday lives. Finally, there are the gifts we see other people possess, but we do not. I’ll explain...
The extraordinary gifts we possess are not always recognized as extraordinary. Why? They come naturally to us. “Painting is just something I do,” says the artist. “When someone shares their story, how could you be distracted?” asks the great listener. Little gratitude.READ MORE
Some days you just wake up and you don’t have it. Maybe you are normally creative, but there are days when nothing comes to mind. Maybe you usually lift the morale of everyone you come in contact with, but today you cannot muster the effort. Maybe you are typically an extremely productive person, but you seem to be stuck in cement.
Today is one of those days for me. Nothing sounds better than crawling into bed for about a week (and only getting out for trips to the bathroom and the refrigerator).READ MORE
Have any of you ever thrown a party, only to have no one show up? That would be a pretty sad day, huh?
Hopefully, you didn’t react like the king in this weekend’s Gospel. He burns down the towns of the people who didn’t show up to his son’s royal wedding feast. I believe there is a word for that: harsh. Oh...but he was just getting started. He then invited everyone to come on in. The problem occurred when someone showed up not properly dressed. The king ordered the man be bound and tossed into the outer darkness. This king doesn’t seem to be very merciful, so is it a bit shocking that in this parable, Jesus is using the king to represent God the Father? How?READ MORE
The Gospel this weekend is the parable of the Wicked Tenants. It begins like this: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a winepress in it, and built a tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went on a journey. When vintage time drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to obtain his produce. So what happened? The tenants beat, killed or stoned every servant sent to the vineyard.
Then, the landowner did something none of us would do. He sent his son. The tenants seized him, took him outside the vineyard and killed him, as well.READ MORE
In this week’s Gospel (Matthew 21:28-32), a father asks his two sons to go out and work in the vineyard. The first refuses to go. Only after his initial refusal does he change his mind. The second son is immediately cooperative and agrees to go, but he is just giving lip service and never follows through.
Jesus asks a fairly simple question: which of these sons did what their father wanted? We all know the son who went out to work the field was the one who did the father’s will.
In order to understand why Jesus would ask such a simple question, we must understand He was speaking to the chief priests and the elders. These people were pretty pleased with their level of prayer, judgment, and status.
This is why, even though they answered His elementary riddle correctly, He seemed to turn on them. In proper context, it made sense when Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”READ MORE