He Died for our Sins

05-29-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

The Catholic Church recognizes, understands, and even remembers that the Bible did not simply fall from the sky intact. It was written by the Holy Spirit through the followers of the One True God and compiled by the early Church.

The Church has always relied on the Magisterium, Sacred Scripture, and Sacred Tradition. All three. Put simply: God entrusts the same Church that He trusted to record His Word—to interpret His Holy Word. It only makes sense. That is what the Magisterium is responsible for. In that light, let’s look at the purpose of the Ascension.

Many just assume it is when Jesus’ purpose on earth was complete and he was finally able to go enjoy his home in heaven.

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I Love You Lord

05-20-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Parenthood seems to be one long string of graduations. No, I’m not talking about preschool, elementary, middle school, high school, and college. Those are for the children. I am referring to the parents.

Kids just keep growing up and as the parents start to finally master that “level of parenting,” the kids evolve into something new. It’s the parenting equivalent of “Oh. You think you are running the show, high school varsity popular kid? Here comes college where nobody knows you!”

Here are some parenting graduation moments: when they become mobile, become verbal, recognize they have free will, discover the opposite sex, get a license... The list goes on and on.

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God is Love

05-15-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Humans have been trying to figure out love since creation. Look at the variety of ways it is treated in popular songs over the last 70 years. “Endless Love.” “Crazy In Love.” “All You Need Is Love.” “Love Me Tender.” “I Will Always Love You.” “You Give Love A Bad Name.”

Some think love means you can’t get someone out of your head. But love must be deeper than infatuation, because love shouldn’t be something that burns so brightly and burns out so quickly.

Some think love should be exclusive, reserved for those closest to us. But love must be wider than exclusive earned membership, or we wouldn’t have been commanded to love our enemies.

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The Lord is My Shepherd

05-08-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Since my entire ancestry is rooted in farming, it pains me to admit that not all farmers are honest 100% of the time. If they were, there would be no need for branding or spray painted markings on livestock. After all, livestock costs a small fortune and it is all too easy to go “shopping” for free animals on neighboring farms.

Before anti-theft techniques began being used, stealing from other flocks was quite common—and it is against this backdrop that Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

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Passion

05-01-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

There are topics people are so passionate about that the mere mention elicits a landslide of opinion and thought. It is as if some unsuspecting innocent wandered a bit too close and set off a bomb.

I know someone who feels that way about firearms. I know another friend who feels that way about Star Wars. I know several friends who feel that way about their football team. And yes... I know too many who feel that way about politics.

I could NEVER know enough who feel that way about Jesus Christ and the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church he founded.

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You Cannot Remain on the Sidelines Any Longer

04-24-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

The first words of this weekend’s First Weekend are worth reflecting on: “Many signs and wonders were done among the people at the hands of the apostles.”

You see, they had received the Holy Spirit and were emboldened. They were inspired. They were strengthened.

These first followers answered the call of the Holy Spirit. And as they received the Spirit, it compelled them to pass it on. Those who truly receive the Spirit are unable to contain it. It must spill forth, overflow, and spread.

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This Is Your Day

04-17-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

If you believe the sins of your past and/or present are too great for your future to be blessed by God...

If you believe your anger or hurt has made it so that you will never be able to trust the Lord again...

If you believe God is either cruel or uninterested...

If you want to change, but you just don’t know how to take that first step...

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Get Up and Pray

04-10-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Palm Sunday is here—and with it, the holiest week of the year. It is time. Everything Jesus said and did was building up to this. His passion, death, and resurrection.

But there was one final thing he did before it began. He prayed. In fact, “he prayed so fervently that his sweat became like drops of blood.”

A condition called hematidrosis is a very rare medical condition that causes a person to sweat blood from the skin. Medical professionals have hypothesized it results from extreme “fight or flight” responses. And wouldn’t this make sense given what Jesus knew was waiting for him over the next several hours?

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The Most Compassionate... or the First to Condemn

04-03-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

First—a quick reminder about the parish mission on Monday and Tuesday at 6:30pm. Please don’t miss out. And if we’ve never met, please find me and introduce yourself. It would be my honor to meet you.

This Sunday’s gospel is about the adulterous woman. And I often wonder about the men in the crowd who had been clamoring for her death. How many of them had committed adultery?

In my experience, I’ve found that people who have struggled with a particular sin fall into one of two categories: they are either the most compassionate... or the first to condemn.

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An Old Dump

03-27-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

Recently, I gave an in-depth tour of our church to members of RCIA and their families. They learned why the baptismal font is in the back of the church, the significance of the placement of our saint statues, that Catholic Churches are baptized, the definition of terms like narthex, nave, and sacrarium, and so much more. (I’d be happy to do the same for other parishioners if there is a demand.)

One of my favorite moments of the tour (spoiler alert!) is when I share a factoid from the “About Our Parish” section of our website: “Parishioners pooled resources to purchase 10 Acres of land toward building of a parish church and campus. Ironically, the land purchased to build our parish in Carefree had been used for some years as an official ‘dump.’”

You read that right. The most beautiful church campus I’ve ever seen... is built on an old dump.

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Miscommunication

03-20-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

It’s funny. I have been a Director of Faith Formation for about six years, and a Coordinator of Youth and Young Adults for 18 years before that—and yet—I tend toward skepticism.

A few years ago, I was on the phone with a woman regarding an upcoming event we were planning for Our Lady of Joy. The signal was unclear and we found ourselves repeating the advertising catchphrase, “Can you hear me now?”

Suddenly, the lady said, “David? This retreat is too important for any miscommunication. Let’s pray.” She proceeded to pray for a clear signal so that we could complete our work for His glory. I’m ashamed to say I clearly recall being tempted to roll my eyes. Doesn’t God have bigger fish to fry than our little conversation?

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Our Lord had Another Mountain to Climb

03-13-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

In today’s Gospel, Jesus takes his inner circle up a mountain to pray. Jesus and I have that in common—we LOVE heading up into mountains for prayer. In fact, I regularly remind God that if He sees fit to make it possible for me to have a small cabin one day, I’d be a VERY happy camper. Thus far, He sees fit to make me wait. Fair enough. Back to the mountain.

Jesus leads them in a prayer marathon of sorts. Everyone but Jesus gets pretty sleepy until the transfiguration occurs, Moses and Elijah appear, and the whole scene becomes pretty amazing.

Peter says, “Master, it is good we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

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Happy Lent!

03-06-2022(Being) Catholic MattersDavid Lins

If you are reading this, I have two things I need to say.

1. Thank you for taking a moment to reflect with me on a weekly basis. It is truly humbling.

2. Happy Lent! It is upon us and this week’s Gospel is the perfect starting point for significant reflection if we examine the three ways the devil tempted Jesus.

First, he watched Jesus and knew he’d been fasting for 40 days, so he tempted him with food. Pleasure of the flesh.

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