Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Blessings

May the Lord bless you and your loved ones in 2021.  Even though we are still coping with the pandemic - many blessings will be given to us.  Last year was difficult for all of us - all have had to endure a year of disappointments - financial - spiritual - recreational - educational.  In spite of all this - good things still happened.  Scheduled surgeries - weddings - births - graduations - all went ahead - changed - modified - but still were completed.  Many blessings were received - more blessings went unnoticed - yet God still sent them upon all of us.  

The best blessings from God - other people who entered our lives - those who surprised us with their physical - virtual presence - to encourage us that we could cope - know that we are not alone in this life.  If you are reading this - you have been blessed even if you do not realize it.  You are alive - possibilities abound - so many good things lay ahead.  Praise God for your life - make it worth living.  With God all things are possible.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas 2020 The Celebration That wasn't

This year the normal celebration of Christmas was anything but normal. Travel canceled - church services - canceled - simplified - family gatherings - on hold.  The pandemic that was suppose to be under control - still raging its ugly head - every where.  Needless to say - most likely the biggest disappointment of 2020.  However - there were moments - unmatched in previous years - that managed to bring joy - peace into many lives. 

Jesus told us that He didn't promise us a rose garden - often He reminded us that there would be tests - trials that we would have to endure.  2020 has been a giant trial - test.  He also told us that He would never leave us - that He would be with us constantly - throughout 2020 - time and again - He has proven that.  With God - Jesus - Our Savior all is possible.

Deacon Dale  

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Advent Goals

For the first three weeks of Advent we have been asking ourselves - are we ready to meet the Lord when He comes?  If our lives ended today - would we end up in heaven ? If we died today - where would we spend eternity?  For three weeks we have inventoried our lives - looking to our final destination.  Now in the Fourth week of Advent - our focus switches to Jesus - His birth -  what it means to us that God came down from the heavens to live with the very people He created - why He came as an infant - not an adult - why He chose to go through the birthing process - the growing process from child to adult - enduring - embracing the hardships - experiencing life - just as any ordinary human does.  To some these questions - very confusing.  To others - no issue - for a God who exists outside of time - 30 years a drop in the bucket - for we are told (2 Peter 3:8) "with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day",  Simply stated - for God who is eternal - outside of time - it was nothing - a blip in the calendars of the world.  Experiencing life just as His people - what better way to really get to  know them - understand them - understand what our needs were - the temptations we would face - the accomplishments we would experience.  

For with God - nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) - what He desires for us - what He needs to do to help us - never impossible - knowing that He - Jesus is always at our side - that He fully knows our needs - we go forward as we end Advent - we go to the crib of our Lord - knowing that He is always with us.  In the crib - at our side - holding our hands - together we celebrate Christmas.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Unwrapping Your Cheer

Pink - Rose - Purple - on this Third Sunday of Advent the focus is not on the color of vestments worn at Holy Mass - rather - Joy - Happiness - Hope.  As people of hope we pause and reflect on where we might possibly find moments of joy - cheer - happy events that bring pleasure into our lives.  Advent - unlike Lent - which is a time of penance - is the season in which we reflect and review our lives and what we have accomplished - how good we are. In Advent  - we should focus on how we can improve - become better Christians .  All too often - others - meaning well - lead us on a path of discovery - focusing only on our failures - disappointments - wrapping the good - happy moments - in stories that overshadow any cheerful moments we could remember. 

Rather than focusing on our failures - we need to unwrap everything that is hiding the cheer that is in our life.  With the help of Jesus - we may see our goodness - too often hidden by guilt - anxiety - distractions - placed in front of us by the world.  As Christians we live counter cultural to what the world says is important.  People not things are what helps us unwrap our cheer.  As we continue our Advent journey - may all of us rediscover the cheer in our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Road To Salvation

On this Second Sunday of Advent we hear - "Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God"  (Is 40:3) - prepare a path for Him.  We have been called to go before Him - to smooth out the path - to make clear for His feet - to prepare hearts - to hear His message - to be heralds of His message. The majority or us will ask - how?  How can we possibly do that?  We are not theologians - priests - deacons - not trained in Holy Scripture - not comfortable sharing our faith with others - not people of influence.  How may we do as He asks - as limited as we are?  In faith we go into the world - to walk a path of faith.

The reality of the matter - all of us have been called - through our baptism - we have been given everything we need.  We believe - therefore we can share what we know with all that we meet.  We are not called to debate - only to share our faith - our belief.  It is up to those who hear - to sort out our message - to digest it in their minds - hearts - to let the words we share grow within them.  Like farmers - we are called to spread seeds - to let God do the watering.  We share what we know freely in Advent because so many people are searching in these days for words of hope - inspiration.  Whatever path we take - Jesus will always be with us.

Come Journey With Us

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Happy New Year

Happy New Year? Now?  Yes! - The First Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new Church Liturgical Year - in this four week period we are given a fresh chance to prepare ourselves for what lies ahead.  Short vision - preparing for Christmas - the Birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Long vision - preparing for that time - somewhere in the future - when we will meet Our Lord Face to Face - the end of our life - the end of the world. Advent is not a penitential season - rather a time of reflection to see who we are - what we have done - where we are headed - what we need to do - to be ready for Christ's Second Coming.

There are so many times in our lives that we are given a second chance to get things right - a re-do of sorts.  Time to revisit events and situations that we have already experienced when we did not do as well as originally hoped.  In Advent we have the gift of four weeks to focus on our spiritual life - what was done well - what needs improvement - how to accomplish that goal.  At the end of these four weeks we will not just be ready to celebrate Our Lord's birth - but also better prepared for our own end days.  Advent a season looking to the future - what is coming.

Come Lord Jesus
Deacon Dale 

Friday, November 20, 2020

Waiting For A Miracle

Everyone is waiting for some sort of a miracle.  For the majority - an end to the pandemic - for others - personal needs - new jobs - financial relief - physical and spiritual healings.  Like most people - I am not the best model of quiet waiting.  Since this pandemic started I have been preoccupied with so many things - primarily - avoiding people - keeping my risk to a minimum. Obviously I am not alone.  Avoiding family - close friends - neighbors - wearing a mask when necessary - hiding from life.  These past months have created tension - stress - concern not only for my own well being - also for my spouse - children.  On top of all this - I recently had knee surgery which has placed me in a higher risk category.  Adding surgical pain - physical therapy which challenges my body - lack of sleep - I am ready for a miracle.

Deacon Class Ordained October 1988 - The Other Twelve

This past October we celebrated our 32nd year of ordination.  In those 32 years we - the Other Twelve - served our parishes - the parishioners - through the grace of our ordination as Permanent Deacons - ordinary men called to do the extra ordinary.  We have performed weddings - funerals - preached hundreds - maybe thousands of homilies - easily baptized thousands of babies and some adults. In the last ten years I have been privileged to lead some 20+ pilgrimages - domestic and international.  I have been blessed to preach at Shepherd's Field Chapel in Bethlehem in the Holy Land - la Familia Sagrada in Barcelona - Saint Francis Basilica in Assisi, Italy and many others.  These memories - experiences - the people who joined me on pilgrimage - all inspire me to continue on - to look forward to that day - when by the grace of God we will emerge from this pandemic.  Until then we wait - trusting in God - for a miracle.

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

America The Beautiful

The beginning of September - Labor Day weekend upon us - the corn starting to turn brown - signaling that harvest will soon be upon us.  And in this year of 2020 - the pandemic still very present in our lives.  Face masks - restrictions on gathering in groups - cancelled vacations - students returning to school - the threat of the Corona virus still with us - numbers of those infected still growing - people confused with fake - false news - where do we turn for help?  The President - governors - local authorities - just as clueless as the rest of us.  It is unbelievable in the midst of a pandemic - which has affected the entire world -  conspiracy theories fly around us like a swarm of murder hornets - that it is all political.  It does not matter which party one belongs to - lies flying out of their mouths like bees as seen in so many horror movies.  Concern for others - down the toilet like so much other political waste - where does it end?  The end begins with us - you and me - responsible people who act - not react - act with common sense - study the information published by reliable sources - understand what we read - what the numbers really mean - not what others tell us they mean.  A recent report stated that only 6 percent of those who died recently - only died from the Corona virus. So that means that 94 percent who died in that same time period did not die from the virus - false!  The majority of people who die always die from multiple causes - drunk driving - car accident - was only one factor the cause - no - two causes.  I have seen plenty of people who were drunk or in car accidents who did not die from either - same with diseases that affect multiple parts of the body - a virus that affects the structure of the lungs - lungs that fail to properly absorb oxygen - it is called cause and effect.  Was it lung disease - virus infection - both?  Many people have multiple medical issues who contract the virus and do not die - so what gives?  Different people - different levels of health - no two exactly the same.  The answer - all take precautions to guard yourself - others.

When God created the world - all was good - then evil entered and sickness followed.  As People of God - we have been blessed with all that we need to live productive - helpful lives.  In times of trouble - we are called to be messengers of hope - healing.  The healing begins inside us - spreads to others - as we share faith that we will survive - as will many others.  With common sense - taking reasonable precautions - caring for each other - this pandemic will eventually end.  It takes time - faith in each other - faith in God.  A prayer here and there wouldn't hurt either. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

In His Time

When we consider God and what He has in store for each of us - we must remember - In His Time.  This has been a very rough year for everyone,  Even the elite - cannot be guaranteed that they will not be touched by the pandemic that we are experiencing.  It has been two months since my last post.  In that time away from blogging - I have been occupied with - little things.  Mowing the lawn - doing minor repairs - completing small projects that had been set aside for a better time - filling the empty hours - with stuff.  Free time can be a gift - or an enemy - depending on how one uses it.  On the plus side we were able to freshen up our outdoor deck - making it comfortable for ourselves and visitors - the people we normally socialize with and entertain.  That will not happen this year.  So many events cancelled - family reunions - the annual chili cook off - family gatherings - bocce games - all on hold for some future date.  In the midst of all this - time to sit on the deck - to reflect - pray - talk to God.  

Luckily for us - we have been blessed by God with a peaceful view from our deck.  Nice landscaping - a field of corn standing tall reaching upwards to heaven.  Each tassel gently waving in the wind - as if God's angels were saying hello - our flag waving in that breeze - reminding us of the promises to each of us that on this planet we have the right to live and worship as we choose with promises of equality for all - a promise still not quite a reality - one day soon we pray.  We realize that there are those who may not enjoy those promises yet - but through prayer and actively helping those that we can - it will become a truth - not just a dream.  With God - all things are possible - in His Time

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Flesh and Blood

Today around the world - Churches everywhere are celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi - The Body and Blood of Christ.  In the early Church - even in the time of Jesus Himself - many followers walked away - from Him - His message - His teachings - when He said that He - Jesus of Nazareth - was the Bread come down from Heaven - referencing the Manna - Jews had eaten - lived upon in the desert.  Those followers - not comprehending - understand this statement - elected to distance themselves from Him.  Unfortunately too many people today - including Catholics - do not understand the concept of - the Real Presence in the Eucharist.  This is a confusing concept that many struggle with - the fact that during the words of consecration - the communion bread and wine - become transformed into Christ's Body and Blood - while remaining to look like ordinary communion wafers and everyday wine.  To believe - takes a step of faith - faith in Jesus' own words spoken at the Last Supper with His disciples.  After offering the bread and wine to His Heavenly Father - He said "take and eat - this IS my body and in similar words this IS my blood"  - as people of faith - we believe.

God sent His Son - Jesus - that we might have life and live it to the fullest.  That means enjoying all the benefits that this life gives us - along with the evil that surrounds us.  He never said it would be perfect - with His help - better than many would expect.  To complete the gifts He gives - the gift of Himself in Holy Communion - Eucharist - at every Mass we participate in whether in person - or now online - live streamed.  Jesus is Lord - now and forever.  Amen

Deacon Dale