Do To the Least of These

08-28-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I’ve often thought a good measure of a person’s character is how they treat the free sample people at Costco. People just walk up, grab their toothpicked gouda, and walk on without even looking at the person who prepared it. If it’s a good sample, they send in family members to get seconds or thirds. I can’t even fathom asking them to take a moment and say, “thank you.”

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Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.

08-21-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This weekend’s Responsorial Psalm (117) says, “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.”

And I know.

It is difficult to go out to all the world and tell the Good News. You might make some one uncomfortable. It might be your husband, wife, or children. It will probably be you. You might have someone tell you to “get lost!” You might have to quit your job. You might lose some Facebook friends or followers on Twitter or Instagram. (God forbid!)

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Come Follow Me

08-07-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

What if you lived in eastern Ukraine right now? War, bullets, and violence all around you? You’ve been told to lock yourself and your loved ones in your home. Ignore what you hear on the other side of those four walls. Resist the urge to despair. You will be alright if you wait. Just wait. Someone will be coming to evacuate you. When that moment comes, don’t hesitate. Just follow.

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Be Defined by our Possessions — or our Generosity

07-31-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This Sunday’s readings are not subtle.

The first reading begins, “Vanity of vanities, all things are vanity!” If you are familiar with the proper translation—this isn’t talking about self-obsession. This is actually saying everything is fleeting. Beauty, status, wealth. This life goes by incredibly fast and you can’t take any of it with you. As Rose Totino once said, “You never see a U-Haul hitched to the back of a Hearse.”

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Hidden Pain

07-24-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

often think one of the most difficult aspects of my back injury is that no one else can see it. It isn’t like my eyes turn red when the pain reaches a certain level. My lumbar doesn’t emit a low-level hum. And I try not to just yell when I’m hurting.

But I have come to realize that I’m not alone. Most people’s worst pains are hidden from the wider world. It might be physical pain that is so bad you understand why the lead character in the television show “House” became addicted to pain killers and was always cranky. It might be psychological pain caused by conflict, struggles, or the aftermath of tragedy. Well, the list could go on and on. The point is that most of the people we interact with on a daily basis are carrying invisible pain to one degree or another.

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Mary has chosen the better

07-17-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This weekend, we hear the story of Martha and Mary. You know the one. Martha is getting things done while Mary (NOT his mom, different Mary) just sits at Jesus’ feet and listens to him.

Martha finally gets sick of it (like most people who get things done when they see someone “just sitting there!”) and asks Jesus to say something to Mary.

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Explaining the Church's Position

07-10-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

We sometimes forget that both politicians and media conglomerates hire professional writers to craft their messaging. These people are truly gifted at what they do and can quickly make arguments so persuasively that those who oppose their viewpoints are often quick to question themselves.

And a small army of these persuasion ninjas have been unleashed on the abortion issue. Stand strong in the facts, my friends. I am currently working on a series of videos that help explain the Church’s position to help remind you and share with others.

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Reassignment

07-03-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

I was in my mid-twenties. I was a youth minister at my second parish and I’d built the largest Catholic youth ministry program in California north of Los Angeles. And I was in Modesto, not a big city like San Francisco, San Jose, or Sacramento.

On a day like any other, I was summoned into a meeting with the pastor and the head of HR. I was informed that my services were no longer needed. (I confirmed later that the pastor’s friend—also a youth minister—was moving back to the smaller town.) I was shocked. I was hurt. I seriously considered walking away from ministry for good.

Then, something crazy happened. I went to one last Mass at that particular parish and I heard a line from this weekend’s Gospel. An amazing line.

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When You Feel the Pull Toward the Lord...

06-26-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

When I was a full-time youth minister (shorthand for coordinator or director of youth ministries in a Catholic Church), one of the most heartbreaking moments was just before a retreat or conference when a young person would say something like, “Thanks for the invite. I really want to go. And I’ll go next time! It’s just... I’ve got this ::insert random sport, social, or family event. My ::insert parent, coach, teacher, or friend:: really wants me to go.”

Most of the time, I knew (I KNEW!) that if they went, it would likely change the trajectory of their lives (and afterlives). But if they didn’t, the opportunity would be missed and the pressures and competing pulls of adolescence would prevent them from ever prioritizing their Faith again.

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Father's Day

06-19-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

On Monday, I dropped my daughter off at her new school for KinderCamp. The next day, she turned five. And this weekend is Father’s Day. Blend these up and you get a dad thinking quite a bit about his relationship with his daughter.

One day, there is a good chance some young man is going to come along and ask if he can marry my little girl. I’m going to ask him if he thinks he is worthy of her.

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Trinity Sunday

06-12-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

This weekend’s Gospel focuses on the central mystery of our Catholic Faith—the Trinity. The eternal Creator. The eternal Redeemer. The eternal Advocate. Three in one. Eternally.

The quick definition of mystery is “something that is difficult or impossible to understand or explain.” So, yeah. I’m not going to try and explain the Trinity in a small column. I’ll leave that to the ordained professionals. Instead, I want to focus in on that one word: “mystery.”

I’ve noticed lately that most of my close friends are geniuses. I’m serious. If Kim Jong gets us with a missile, I’ve got a friend who failed. Another friend is basically MacGyver and the government regularly asks him to invent things. And the list goes on.

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Pentecost

06-05-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Have you been confirmed? No? What are you waiting for!? If you are in 3rd or 4th grade, contact Sr. Susan Marie. If you will be in 6th-12th grade next year, reach out to our youth ministries coordinator, Mady. If you are a high school graduate and still alive—email me at dlins@oloj.org.

But if you have been confirmed... what are you so afraid of?!

The disciples were huddled up in a locked room. They were frightened for their very lives. They dared not speak the name of the Lord or they might be put to death.

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