Sunday, June 16, 2019

Three-peat

In sports and many other events a three-peat - a repeat of some win or accomplishment - three times in a row.  To be able to repeat a successful campaign - effort - three times in a row is a sign of excellent.  A triple crown of success - three being the magic number in so many places.  Today the Church celebrates its own three-peat as it celebrates the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity - Father - Son - Holy Spirit - One God - three manifestations.  To clearly understand the Trinity would take pages and pages to explain the theology that makes this understandable - even then - most walk away - still confused.  As faithful Christians - most accept the doctrine of a God with three names - accepting that the Trinity is a Mystery understood only by God .  


As modern day disciples of Christ we accept without question that God does exists in three identities all equal - in the form of the One God.  Rather than waste valuable time debating a Mystery that is difficult to comprehend - we do as Jesus told us - go make disciples of all nations - baptizing in  the Name of the Father - Son - Holy Spirit.  As our lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit working in our own lives - we freely share  this Mystery - this Gift with all whom we meet.  We accept with open minds and hearts - Jesus we trust in You - Your Words - Your Promises - Your Gift of New Life.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Great Balls of Fire

Today is Pentecost Sunday - one of the most significant days of the liturgical year.  Today we remember that day - in time- when God sent His Holy Spirit - down from heaven - upon the apostles - disciples of Jesus.  Ordinary men - women - of little faith - not quite understanding the crucifixion of Jesus - contemplating His command to wait - for - Another - the Paraclete - The One Who Would Empower - to go boldly - where others had failed to venture.  The color of the day is - Red - the color of blood - the color of fire - the color of the Rose - a reminder of Life.  Today - in time - the Birthday - of the Church - the Universal Church of God - centered on Jesus - the Christ.


Just as the apostles - disciples - of Jesus experienced the rush of the Holy Spirit - so may we also.  Truth be told - most of us - baptized - catechized - Christians - have already had the Holy Spirit - poured upon us.  That power laying dormant - inside us - waiting to be set free - to do as commanded by God.  To release that Spirit - to become an effective Christian - to teach - heal - witness - evangelize  - simply speak a simple prayer.  Come Holy Spirit Come - I believe I have received you in baptism - confirmation - Holy Eucharist - the sacraments - come release your power in my life - that I may glorify and serve the Lord - Our God.  Say this prayer - then keep watch for how the Spirit will manifest itself in your life - for your good - for the good of others.

Deacon Dale 


Saturday, June 1, 2019

Sabbatical is Over

YES - My short sabbatical is over and I am now back from tasks that kept me away from this blog.  I will not go into detail - leaving the winter retreat - returning home - attending to personal issues with which everyone has - back to writing.  Taking a break from the routine is suggested by so many people - time to take deep breaths - slow the pace - review where one has been - where one wishes to go.  It is now June 1st - not yet summer - but close to it.  Summer chores and tasks waiting for all of us - hopefully - rest and relaxation included in those plans.  Easter season is almost over and next week Pentecost.  Two weeks later - Corpus Christi and many Eucharistic processions to be observed.  


God gives us this time - time so precious - wasted by so many - enjoyed - celebrated by others.  In this time - each of us should reevaluate our individual lives - objectively look at what we have or have not accomplished in the first five months of this year.  Each of us is a promise - to ourselves - to our family - to our community - to the world.  Everyone is a piece of a giant puzzle that we call life - and each of us adds value to the larger picture.  Today is the perfect day to step back and look at that larger picture - ask yourself where is my piece - am I fitting in as I should - do I need to fine tune my presence - if so - ask God for help and everything will fall into place.

Deacon Dale 


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Life Saver

Easter Sunday - Resurrection - New Life - the focus of this day around the world - the Holiest Day of the year for Christians and those who believe in Jesus as the Christ - the Anointed One of God.  Today we celebrate - we rejoice - we praise God for His awesome deeds done for us.  Sending His Son to walk - live with us - to teach - preach - prepare us for a life after death - life in heaven - with Him - His Father.  On one hand it seems impossible - impossible that any of us would be good enough to be granted this gift - for all have fallen short of the Glory of God.  Yet in His awesome love for us - that gift is offered freely to all people.  One does not even have to be a Christian - nor baptized - to receive this gift.  All it takes is an open mind - heart - willing to accept Jesus into their mind - heart - to profess Him as Lord and God.  
Jesus came for all - not all will accept Him - to those who do - New Life in Christ.  Last night at the Easter Vigil - people were baptized and received into the Church.  Following that Holy Mass they may now call themselves Christians - official members of the Church.  Last night was not the end  - rather the beginning of their formation into disciples of Christ.  They along with those of us - renewed and energized by them and the sacraments celebrated - now called to go forward - to become intentional disciples - to spread the Good News - that lives can be changed - those on a path to doom and gloom - may change their focus - walk a new direction.  To those on the edge looking in - the invitation is there always - come join us - the community of believers - invite Jesus into your life - He is waiting to be your own life saver.

Happy Easter!
Deacon Dale 

Friday, April 19, 2019

3 Daze

Dazed - as being confused - in a fog - unable to think clearly - act normally due to injury - shock -bewilderment.  The number three - reflecting on the Triduum - the three holiest days in the Christian year - Holy Thursday - Good Friday - Holy Saturday - all leading up to - culminating in Easter - the day of Resurrection - celebration of good over evil.  Nobody - layperson - deacon - priest - bishop - can completely know - understand the mind of God.  Exactly what is God's plan - why were certain things allowed to happen - for what reason?  Of course - those who have spent years contemplating these questions may offer us  their understanding of the why - wherefores - but the honest reality - all are educated guesses.  Nobody - not even the Pope - can know the mind of God.  We can make certain assumptions - read the Doctors of the Church - study the writings of those who have invested their entire life into learning these secrets - make observations of past historical events - to help us draw our own conclusions - answers. To This point the Church gives us the gift of these three days to contemplate these specific mysteries.  Holy Thursday - the institution of ministry - helping others - humbling ourselves to wash feet - service to those in need - pulling all this into the sacred mystery of Holy Eucharist - Holy Mass.  Good Friday - a day spent being dazed - confused - trying to focus on the ability of man to harm man - contemplating why humans are able to sink to the lowest levels when facing the darkest secrets in their own lives - creating misdirection - putting the blame on others for their shortcomings - through unspeakable actions.  Holy Saturday - the third day of being dazed - trying to see clearly - to understand the events already experienced - praying that out of chaos - good may surface - to justify bad actions - the good that rises from the ashes of evil. 



At Easter - the Day of celebrating - Resurrection - waving the victory flag - happy to be on the winning team - yet not clearing understanding what was gained - lost.  We will never clearly understand - we will always be in some way dazed by these events - yet - as people of Hope - we Believe.  As believers - we worship - pray - rejoice in the promise that is yet to come in our personal life.  

Deacon Dale 

Monday, April 15, 2019

Prayer Partners

Monday the beginning of Holy Week - parishioners around the world - yesterday - encouraged to embrace this week - the Holiest week in the Christian Year - specifically asked to pray more.  Contemplating the Passion that was shared in churches worldwide on Sunday - most left for home - their assignment to immerse themselves into Holy Week - more deeply - this year.  Today the fire - burning a majority of the Cathedral of Notre Dame - in Paris - shocking the world.  If not a religious symbol known the world over - at least a cultural one visited by millions of tourists - pilgrims - yearly.  As I write this - thousands in France praying intently that the Cathedral will not be a total loss - that the relics - important to all Catholics - will be saved from harm - preserved for the next generation and beyond. Today when a majority of Bishops will be celebrating the Chrism Mass this evening - blessing the oils used throughout the liturgical year - more prayers - commitments offered - to stand firm in faith - honoring promises made at ordination - promising prayers for our fellow Catholics in France - one body - the true body of Christ - all praying together for our common needs - partners in prayer.


God calls each of us - to Him - to His Son - to Jesus - in prayer - sharing our wants - needs - thanks - for all He has - will do for us.  The Cathedral - will be rebuilt - as servants of God - that is what we do.  We build our bodies into temples - for His Holy Spirit - we build houses  - to hold - protect our loved ones - we build churches - temples - cathedrals - to provide space where we may gather as the family of God - to petition - to praise - to thank - Him - for who He is - what He has done - what He will do - for ourselves - gathered together in this bond of faith - to live out our lives in holiness.  Pray for the people of France - pray for  the peoples of the world - pray for yourselves - that we may one day worship - in complete peace - harmony.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Blowing In The Wind

It has been windy here for the past few days - difficult to enjoy cycling with winds blowing strongly in your face - telling one - go home.  Cycling with the wind - at your back makes for an easy go - quite the opposite when the winds turn against you.  Same goes for many of life's instances - school - work - relationships - everyone happy with you - motivates one to continue on their path - to stay the course.  It is the times when you lose favor - projects miss due dates - your thoughts - ideas not in favor with others - relationships sour - difficult to accomplish even simple tasks.  It is in the difficult times that one is tested - the true metal of a person shows through.

Palm Sunday In India

So it was with Jesus - a triumphant entry into Jerusalem - riding on the back of a donkey - something reserved for only the most worthy - notable.  Crowds cheering Him on - waving palm branches - leaves of anticipation blowing in the winds - laying robes at His feet - screaming praises - arousing those on the side lines to stand up - view - the Messiah.  A great entrance - only to be followed by a great fall - a last supper - unplanned - not anticipated - arrested - bound in chains - to be led away - questioned - over and over again - stripped naked - beaten - condemned.  Such is the beginning of Holy Week - the one week of the Christian calendar - unlike any other week - time for serious prayer - fasting - confession - reconciliation - forgiveness - families coming together - to acknowledge - in one way or another - the importance of family - each other - our purpose in life - the importance of God - His Son - Jesus.  In this week - we complete our Lenten Journey - to wholeness.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Picking Olives and Hearts

On this Fifth Sunday of Lent - we hear the story about the woman accused of adultery - alternately - for those attending Holy Mass where the Third Scrutiny is being celebrated - the story of Lazarus - his death - being raised by Jesus to New Life. In the Cycle C Scripture Jesus is presented with a woman caught in adultery - condemned to death by stoning - the question presented to Him by the Scribes and Pharisees at the Mount of Olives - questioning the validity of the Law of Moses in such matters.  Thorny question - tell the people that Moses was wrong - stone a person to death for failing to live up to her potential as a person - what to do.  Do nothing - do something - take control of the situation by turning the answer back to those seeking to trap Him - let them - the one without sin cast the first stone - then the remainder may follow suit. Everyone walks away - no one has the guts to think they are without sin - Jesus - forgives - admonishes her to go - a changed person.  I have been privileged to visit the Mount of Olives on three occasions - each visit different - each experience special - each time a fresh opportunity to touch the Divine. From the Mount of Olives a clear view of the Kidron Valley - The Old City Wall of The City of David - the burial sites of the faithful - a proposed path that Jesus Himself might have walked on that fateful evening of The Last Supper - a shortcut that He may have taken on His way to Bethany - the site of Lazarus' burial. 


In the celebration of this Third Scrutiny - the focus on New Life - New Life granted through the celebration of Baptism - Confirmation - Holy Eucharist - New Life celebrated in the act of forgiveness - reconciliation - making oneself right with themselves - others - God.  In granting His forgiveness to the woman - in raising Lazarus from the dead - in our own reconciliation with Jesus - through the Sacrament of Confession - all of us given the opportunity of the GIFT of NEW LIFE.  Lent is not over yet - there are still many days in which we may make things right - amend our ways - put ourselves back on the path to God.  In Lent we pick olives - new hearts - new ways - your choice.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A Blind Eye

During this period of Lent - The Church makes special use of the Third - Fourth - Fifth Sundays of Lent - particularly when it is blessed with those seeking Baptism - Confirmation - Holy Eucharist.  Although we are currently sharing the Scriptures from Cycle C of the Liturgical Year - those parishes with Catechumens - now called the Elect - have the option to use the scriptures from Liturgical Cycle A on these three specific Sundays.  In order - the Scriptures focus the attention of the Elect on the Rite of Baptism - Living Water - Light that opens the eyes - New Life - offered to all who claim Jesus as the Lord of their lives.  Lent has been designed as the Final Retreat for those seeking to enter into full communion with the Holy Catholic Church to be celebrated at the Easter Vigil Mass on Holy Saturday.  Those of us - already full members of the Church - travel along with the Elect - supporting them in their quest with our prayers - they in turn - supporting us with their exuberance - excitement - at the Gift they will soon receive. 


It makes no difference if this Sunday you hear the Gospel proclaimed by the deacon - sharing the story of the Man born Blind - or alternately the popular Prodigal Son.  With our hearing the words effectively spoken - each of us acknowledges the blindness in our own lives - the times we failed to see - failed to act in humility - asked for more than was due us - charging ahead following our own plans - ignoring the plans laid before us by God.  Thankfully - Jesus waits for each of us - giving us time to wipe the fog from our eyes - dropping our heads in humility - acknowledging our failing - weakness - as we return - back to the embrace of our Heavenly Father. In Lent - we thank God for His Divine Mercy and praise Him for His patience with us.  With God - there is always time.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Bearing Fruit

Fruit - in botanical terms - the seed bearing structure in flowering plants formed from the ovary after flowering.  Most people hearing the word fruit - think of apples - oranges - grapes - berries - easily harvested from various plants.  Less often - the product of any concentrated effort - the fruit of hard labor - the outcome of concentrated effort.  Before fruit of any kind can be harvested - much work - effort must be invested.  Soil needs to be tilled - seeds - planted - nurtured with nutrients - water from above - sweat from the brow - warmth from the sun - no one ingredient more important than the other.  After many long hours - results finally seen.  In time - all bear fruit.

In today's Gospel - the story of the fig plant - barren - not producing any fruit.  The impatient owner suggesting to dig up - remove the plant - to stop putting additional effort in an attempt to harvest fruit.  The gardener - refusing to comply - willing to invest more time - energy into the plant - wisely knowing that all will eventually produce if given enough time.  So often we see the same situation with people - people who appear to be going no where - taking up space - non productive members of society.  God knows differently - even with the worst - willing to give each of us all the time we need - to grow - to learn - to blossom into the gifts that we can be.  Each of us is a promise - a possibility - to untold greatness - in small - grand ways.  In this season of Lent - we seek that which will nurture us - prayer - fasting - giving to others.  There is still plenty of time this Lent to bear fruit in your life - for yourself - for others.

Deacon Dale