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Jesus turned….

I think he said “Meh”  Not upset that we was turned away.  He had nothing to prove to anyone.  He had no ego to feed.

Me, on the other hand, that darn ego is always there, causing me stress, causing me to wish fire from heaven on those who have defied me!  No names shall be mentioned….

God’s messengers

Angels remind me that God is with us, always.  That is comforting.

Scary part, seems that when the angels were talked about in scripture, big changes in the lives of the people were about to happen.  So, if I sense an angel, probably means God is with me, and wants me to change the direction of my life, again.

If you want to make me roll my eyes, tell me something that you learned about Jesus (and the faith) when you were 8 years old and now you are older, much older, much much older.   Do we still believe in the Easter bunny, tooth fairy?

Our interest in Jesus needs to be maintained and develop as we develop as human persons.  This is how we allow our faith to grow within.  I speak from experience.  I did nothing with the faith given me for years.  But then I finally explored it and my eyes were opened, and continue to be opened (and challenged).

Jesus calls for unity…but lets be honest, we don’t always want to be unified with some people.  Some, well, drive ME crazy, or more crazy.

But I have learned that the crazy feeling aroused are not the fault of the other, but rather something is unsettled within me.  I need to look at that, take that to prayer and with love, rectify it.

So in one sense, those certain people that bother us….they actually help us to heal.

Today, I woke up angry and also with some scare.  I had a busy weekend, I have a busy week etc…. and I am feeling overwhelmed.  And not feeling very “Christ” like.

Trying to practice what I preach here; voicing to God what I am angry about, working on what I can control, and letting God handle the other 99.99999999%.  Doing the same with the fear.

It is not always easy being Catholic/Christian.  It is not always easy being a priest.

The antidote to all that complaining….gratitude.  Instead of always focussing on what we expect, we focus on what we have.  Try it!

Someone told me once  “You would complain if I hanged you with a new rope!”   He was chiding me about my number of complaints.

I think complaints are the outward sign of our own anger…we expect something of someone, and it is not met.  So we BMW about it (*itch, moan and whine).

When I catch myself complaining, that means I have to sit with myself and figure out my anger, and then ask myself what I can do about this anger.  It becomes an opportunity to grow.

Jesus had to deal with anger…he own and that of others.  He took action, positive action.   Will I?

Redirection to love

Lk 7.11-17

The gospel writers are clever in their redirections.  On the surface this is a miracle of Jesus raising a man from the dead.  Underneath, the reality is that Jesus is fulfilling the law to take care of the widows, and  the most vulnerable.  It is a social justice issue.

Reminds me that I have to fulfill the law as well, and make sure that I am caring for the most need.  Why?  Because God cares for them and loves them as God loves me and all.  It is only human therefore to care for those most in need.

humility is the hard part of this equation…

working on it though

Exaltation of the Cross

Many years ago, as a kid, I saw part of a black and white movie in which a vampire, under the light of a full moon was destroyed when the hero turned the arms of a windmill, and the shadow created by the full moon was a cross.

As a kid, i thought that kind of cool.  As an adult, kind of hokey.

It brings us to a question.  What is the cross??

Is it a magical object that wards off evil, kills vampires?  Clearly not.  Is it a fashion item that we wear around our necks to show off?  For some, yes.

But for us, as Christians, it must have a deeper significance.  We wear it, we display it, we incorporate it in our rituals because it is a symbol of love.

It is a symbol of how Love conquers hate/death/fear/anger/grief.  It is a symbol of how we as humans are to trust that God so loves us.

Jesus trusted completely in the Father’s love.    This was his “power” if you will to heal, to forgive, to walk on water, change water to wine.  Eventually, it will be his power to accept a horrible form of execution, death on the cross.

In that, he trusted in the love of the Father; he trust that the Father would make all good.  Which we believe he did, this is the resurrection.

The Father has the same infinite, perfect divine love for us.  This is the good news.  The Father loves us unconditionally.  This is our freedom, this is our salvation.  When we rest in the love of the Father, THERE is our identity.  That is who we are as a person, and as a community.  We are the children of God.

Think back to Adam & Eve and the “original sin”.  They gave their identity, they put their faith into an object, a thing.  They became then a slave of the things, of all created things.

Jesus reversed this.

We all have a choice that make are called to make each day, many times a day.  Will we choose the “Fruit” or God?  Will we identify ourselves with a thing, whether it be money, power, status, political party, our religion, clothes, appearances, etc…

or  will we choose love of God?

I know it sounds a bit straightforward, but the truth is, subtly we tend to make the first choice.  That old ego of ours is the problem.   Once we identify ourselves with the things, we then have to protect ourselves, we have to protect those things..

So we fight, we kill, we hoard, we attack, we lie, we gossip, etc .  Look at our politics, look at our communities, look at our world.  People suffer from this.  We cause the hunger, the thirst, the wars, the poverty, the death.

Love of the Father frees us.  When we truly place our faith, our hope, our identity in the love of God, then we don’t have to worry about our “things”.  There is no need to attack, destroy, protect or hoard.

There is only the need to respond to the Love of the Father by loving those around us.  When we are truly rooted in the love of the Father we as a community can look out for one another, ensure the well-being of all.

We as Christian thrive when we are like this, parishes thrive.

The Cross stands as a symbol against the evil of “idolatry”, of giving ourselves to things.  It is not a magical object, but symbol of our daily commitment to be the children of God.  To make the right decision, to continue to same choice that Jesus made…to trust in the love of the Father.

Of course, it is not easy.  That is why we have the Sacraments, the signs of God’s love for us.  God is constantly loving us, that is grace.  It is to empower us to make the hard choices, choices that in the short term will seemingly make us suffer, but in the long term…will bring to us life.

These sacraments too remind us that we are a community, gathered around and in Christ to support one another.  And to forgive one another when bad decisions are made.

It all comes down to Love, God’s love for us.

So when we look upon the cross, when we place those crucifixes and crosses around our heads, we choose love, we act in love.

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