October 25

by David Lins  |  10/25/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

It is a fallacy that separation of Church and state means that the Church can no longer teach moral truths when any of those moral truths have clear and direct implications on anything that may be in a political party’s platform. This would clearly result in the state’s ability to snatch up every toy on the floor (every issue they can think of), effectively neutering the Church’s voice on any issue of consequence— the effect being “The Ten Commandments” turning into “The Four Commandments...As Long As The State Doesn’t Have Something To Say About Them.”

Now that we’ve covered that, I’d love to zoom in a bit.


October 18

by David Lins  |  10/18/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

This weekend, we hear Jesus say, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to the Lord what belongs to the Lord.”

So, pay your taxes, stop pretending the 101 is the autobahn, and be informed when you vote. But give your entire life to God.

“But what about the separation of Church and state?!” (I can hear some of you screaming it.)

I’ve read the Bible. You probably have, too. I currently cannot remember where Jesus said anything about the separation of Church and state. And, no… “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to the Lord what belongs to the Lord,” doesn’t qualify.

Give to the Lord what is the Lord’s. YOU are the Lord’s. Everything you do is the Lord’s. Every single day. What you do between midnight and… midnight… is the Lord’s.


October 11

by David Lins  |  10/11/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

There are studies all over the place that show the importance of holding infants as much as possible (www.time.com/504/how-cuddling-saves-tiny-babies/), and this shouldn’t be a shock to us. Humanity was created to express and receive appropriate physical expressions of love.

One of the most insidious aspects of this virus is the choice every relationship has had to make, weighing the benefits of this essential aspect of the human experience vs. the potential health risks to the other— and one’s self.

It isn’t a decision others can make for you. And it isn’t a decision anyone should have to make.

You know what one of the things I’m looking forward to the most? Throwing a big dinner party. I don’t know when it will happen, only that it will. And you can bet backs will be slapped, hands will be shaken, and hugs will be given to close friends. It will probably be an amazing pot luck.


October 4

by David Lins  |  10/04/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Hey everyone.

Update: Life still isn’t normal. I mean...the other day… I put a mask on as I entered a bank so I wouldn’t be tackled by security. (Read that sentence again.)

Here is some free advice to survive the apocalypse:

Keep trying to live free of worry. Let God know what you need and thank Him for what you have. Do this, and you’ll have a peace that doesn’t make sense to this world. They won’t understand it is God himself who gives you this peace.

Focus on things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, gracious, and anything worthy of praise. Keep on doing what you know God would have you do for Him and others. Do this and God’s peace will be with you.


September 27

by David Lins  |  09/27/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus poses a simple question to the church elders. Someone in authority asks two people to do something. One says no, but has a change of heart and does it. The other says they will do it, but never does. Who is in the right?

Those listening eagerly respond, “The man who ended up doing as he was asked!” It is the right answer, but it riles up righteous anger in Jesus. Why?

They didn’t even realize the one who they so quickly realized was in the wrong represented them! They had heard John the Baptist and had rejected him.

One the flip side, many prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors had been leading depraved lives, but were open to Christ’s message and changed their ways.


September 20

by David Lins  |  09/20/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

During my eighteen years as a youth minister, I spent my fair share of time in various amusement parks. At some point during those years, the concept of the fast pass was introduced. (For an added price, you get to skip to the front of the lines.)

Initially, I absolutely hated the concept. I don’t like lines anyway. Now, you are telling me people get to walk right by me because the insane cost of my ticket isn’t enough?

Then, a friend bought me a fast pass. I never had to wait more than ten minutes to get on a ride. I’m not ashamed to admit...it was a beautiful day.


September 13

by David Lins  |  09/13/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Praise God! The Covid numbers in Arizona continue to plummet! The Lord is healing our land and our state is slowly awaking from its slumber. Movie theaters have opened with distancing measures, parks are opening in most cities, and my commute is taking longer every week.

In the midst of this, it is important to know your Faith Formation Department is already up and running—and ready to serve you online AND in-person.

Want to join the Catholic Church or complete your sacraments of initiation? Contact David at dlins@oloj.org

Want a Saturday morning online Bible Study? Reach out to Kathy at chatkath68@me.com

Want an in-depth explanation of the context and meaning of the coming Sunday’s readings (both online and in-person) every Monday morning? Contact David at dlins@oloj.org


September 6

by David Lins  |  09/06/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

This weekend’s readings focus in on human connection. They show us—clearly—that the vast majority of God’s children are called to the added drama and effort of relationships.

I understand in times such as these, must of us are tempted to keep our heads down and keep our thoughts restricted to those who know us best. God truly knows, any opinion on Covid, masks, vacines, whether or not children should go back to school, Trump, Biden...even Mass attendance...can elevate heart rates and endanger friendships.

But this weekend’s readings make it crystal clear: love is willing to have difficult conversation, to endure drama, and to put forth effort. We must challenge one another with love (Mt 18:15-20). We must be open to hearing God’s voice through others without hardening our hearts (Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9).


August 30

by David Lins  |  08/30/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

This weekend, we hear a lot about carrying our cross. How often do we reduce this phrase to its lowest possible meaning?

“I can’t go out in the sun without burning. It’s just my cross.”

“I’m lactose intolerant. Is my cross to bear.”

“I hate masks, but if Father Jess wants me to, I’ll carry my cross.”

Listen. When Jesus said this, the disciples weren’t thinking about bad skin, bad gas, or bad breath. They were thinking about one of the most gruesome forms of capital punishment used at the time and they had to truly love Jesus on an astonishing level to be willing to “carry their cross.” And so do we.


August 23

by David Lins  |  08/23/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

When I was about 20 years old, I had one of the sweetest gigs on the planet. I house sat for several families. When they would leave Arizona for any reason, they’d hand me the keys and I’d essentially move in until they returned. Other times, they’d just ask me to stop in regularly, check the mail, and make sure there weren’t issues. Either way, I loved it without fail (except that time I had to hand-feed a Pit his meds...NEVER again…).

But the first time an owner handed me their house keys, I was overwhelmed with the responsibility and blown away by their trust.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus gives Peter the keys to the kingdom. This doesn’t mean heaven is a gated community and Peter is the eternal security guard. (See how I’m relating to the local area!?)


August 16

by David Lins  |  08/16/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Dear Friends,

I’ve lived and/or worked in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, the Diocese of Tucson, the Diocese of Stockton, the Diocese of Orange (CA), and the Diocese of Phoenix. And in that time, I’ve worked with Bishops who I loved and Bishops who I...worked with.

I’ve worked for a total of seven parishes (six on a fulltime basis). In that time, I’ve worked with many priests. Some of them have been the most humble and holy men I’ve ever known behind the scenes. (I won’t give it away, but you are blessed to be at this parish.) Some of them...had struggles.

I’ve met thousands of Catholic families. In that time, some of them were kind, generous, and faithful. Others—to be blunt—were cruel, judgmental, and selfish.


August 9

by David Lins  |  08/09/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

Hi Friends!

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus shows up walking on water. This happens in the middle of the Sea of Galilee, miles from shore, where the depth is about 43 meters. (So he isn’t walking on a sand bar or a big rock.) They freak out and think they are seeing a spirit.

When you look at the Greek, Jesus says, “Take heart, I am.” This is Jesus identifying himself, but also assuming the divine name of the Creator in the Old Testament and applying it to himself.

How do we know that this is an incident where Jesus reveals himself as God (and the fancy term for this is “theophany”)?


August 2

by David Lins  |  08/02/2020  |  (Being) Catholic Matters

“When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say It is well, with my soul.”

These lyrics are from the hymn “It Is Well With My Soul” and were penned by Horatio Spafford.

He was a family man, a successful lawyer, and a senior partner in a large Chicago firm. In 1871, he invested the majority of his money in real estate.

Shortly thereafter, his young son died of scarlet fever.

In October of that year, the Great Fire of Chicago destroyed almost all of his investment.