It’s been a bit difficult to be in the thankful spirit lately.
The past month has been a time of unprecedented illness for me. I’ve managed to burn through every last sick day I stored up during the pandemic and then some. (There are few things I covet more than vacation days and using them for sick days hurts my soul.) In the end, this time is reminding me of the awesome grace of those who live joyfully with chronic illness.
I do not comprehend how you do it!
My various symptoms are conspiring to make me a grumpy monster swimming in self-pity.READ MORE
Did you ever notice how often Jesus answers a question with another question? It turns out, in all four Gospel accounts, Jesus answering a question with a question is the norm, rather than the exception. Since He calls Himself “the way” (Jn 14:6) there must be something for us to learn and imitate from this, as in everything Jesus says and does.
There are two helpful lessons we can learn from Jesus’ questioning: One involves being a better missionary, and the second involves being a better friend. It’s worth looking at each.READ MORE
For many, the end of the world is a terrifying thought. What else do we know, except this world? How can we conceive of it all going away and something unfamiliar and unknown beginning? Everything about our Faith is “good news”. To profess otherwise is to declare that God is not all-good. So what’s going to happen when the earth as we know it comes to an end and how is it “good news”?
When the “appointed time” (Dan 8:19) has come, Christ will appear: “They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21:27). Everyone will be compelled to acknowledge that Jesus is Lord! No more feeling alone in our belief or being quietly tolerated as “naïve” or lacking in scientific knowledge. We will rejoice that our faith in Christ is totally affirmed.READ MORE
This weekend’s Gospel touches on the poor widow who contributes all that she has to give. I feel there is no better time to thank all of you who financially contribute to our parish.
I’ve worked side by side with incredible Catholics (your parish staff) for almost six years. They work hard. They are deeply aware of the importance of their work. They are completely cognizant of the sacrifice that makes their work possible.READ MORE
This is the week the Church celebrates All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed. Most of us can’t help but think about those who have passed away. And for some among us, this carries a tremendous weight.
I feel called to share a bit about a beautiful ministry our parish offers, appropriately named “An Experience of Hope.” It offers healing from the pain, sorrow, and/or shame of an abortion. It is completely confidential, absolutely free of charge, and done one-on-one with a trained facilitator (called a healing companion).READ MORE
This Sunday’s First Reading ends with the line, “For I am a father to Israel, Ephraim is my first born.”
Pop quiz! Who (or what) in the world is “Ephraim?” If you know. Well done.
If you don’t—do something about it.
Last week, I used this column to reflect on God’s desire for us to pray, not only for the intentions of the world and others, but ourselves as well.
This week’s readings reinforce this message.
The Psalm Response says, “Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.”
Then, the Second Reading (taken from Hebrews 4) says, “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.”READ MORE
During my eighteen years running youth ministry programs and six years running faith formation for the entire parish, I’ve encountered numerous people who refuse to pray for themselves.
I’ll ask, “What is something I can pray for—for you?” They respond with something about peace in the Middle East. I’ll say, “That’s a great and worthy intention and I’ll pray for it, but what is something I can pray for—for you?”
They respond with something about the health of a parent, spouse, sibling, or pet.
Virtually every night, my family huddles at our preschool daughter’s bedside and we say our prayers. When Georgiana prays, it gets interesting.
“Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus, Mommy, Daddy...” So far, so good.
“Thank you for my toys, ::insert random preschool classmate name here::, kitties, doggies...” Okay. Nothing wrong here.
“And unicorns and hippopostamusses and Paw Patrol...” Wait. Did she say “hippopostamusses?”READ MORE
Those of you who’ve been reading my little column here for years might remember I refer to this Sunday’s Gospel as the “Pirate Gospel.” Why?
Because Jesus instructs that if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
No hand + no eye = pirate.READ MORE
Humility is an amazing thing.
It’s great for humor. (For example: I like exclaiming, “I’m the most humble man on the planet!” See what I did there?)
It can elicit fear. (It is commonly known that you should only pray for humility if you REALLY mean it. ESPECIALLY if you are a public speaker!)READ MORE
Many years ago, my dad taught me there are two sides to humility.
One side recognizes without God, very little is possible. Did you get great grades, graduate from a prestigious university, and end up with a high-level job? I bet you worked hard to accomplish all those things? But who gave you the intellectual capacity to fill - in the first place? God.
Think of everything you’ve accomplished through hard work like this: God gave you the containers of potential. You fulfilled those containers of potential through your efforts – or responded to what He had given you.READ MORE
This morning, I woke up particularly grumpy. It isn’t something that happens often, but when it does... well... it is written all over my face. My typical “too-big-for-my-face” smile is absent and replaced by an angry German disposition.
As I drove my toddler to preschool, out of nowhere, my little empath asked, “Daddy? Why you sad?”
“I’m okay, little nugget.” So, she started to sing.
After the song, “You happy now, dad?” That is when I realized I needed to pull over then and there.READ MORE