Monday, August 25, 2014

Charity Challenge

Right now the "Ice Bucket Challenge" is one of the hottest topics on the Internet and social media. What started as a celebration at sporting events - pouring the giant container of Gatorade over the head of team members - has evolved to a historically unprecedented event of everyone - adults - teens - children - famous and not so famous - recording icy water being poured over their heads - a challenge to do so and then follow up with a donation to charity. It is great fun - an attention getter - displaying how willing almost everyone is to become involved in clean honest fun while raising awareness of those in need. In the days ahead - others will be inventing similar challenges - specifically on social media - to bring awareness to other social issues. Hopefully - in the process - this should not evolve into a mundane occurrence - rather - using the tool of social media - help people with needs to connect with others of means - to solve some of the many issues previously gone unnoticed. People helping people - what a great idea.

God designed this world with that very concept in mind - people helping people. We were never expected to cope with life's issues alone - rather the community was to be the source of constant support and assistance. God calls each of us to be aware - of His presence in our lives - of the presence of others around us - of the presence of those in need. You do not have to be any specific religion - only a caring person - responding to the need when necessary. If we all could learn that - this would be a much better world.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wading in the Waters

In this Sunday's Gospel we read the account of Jesus walking on the water - yet another of His miracles performed around the Sea of Gallilee - following the miracle of feeding the 5000 men. In the First scripture for Sunday's Holy Mass we heard about Elijah waiting on the Lord - waiting for Him to appear - not in the flashes and loud winds - rather in the quiet breeze. In the Gospel the Lord is found in the midst of a storm - why the difference - why not a gentle breeze instead? It points out to us - God is everywhere - in all of life's events - the quiet - the noisy - the hectic and frantic - the calm and serene. It is we - who expect - anticipate - who miss - His constant presence around us. Two years ago I was in a boat on the Sea of Galilee - calm peaceful - once on shore I was able to remove my sandals and walk into its cool refreshing waters. Unlike our Lord when I walked on the water - it was the bottom layer of the Sea - not on top as He did. It didn't make any difference - I was in and on top of the very same Sea of Galilee that Jesus walked on - preached on - ministered on. I also had the privilege of preaching at Holy Mass on the edge of the Sea of Galilee - a God moment - if I ever had one - shared with the pilgrims traveling with our group.

As we continue Sunday's Gospel we read that Peter also walked on water - for a time - then when he took his eyes off Jesus - when he doubted - when his faith started to waiver - he began to sink.  That tells us that if we keep our eyes focused on Jesus - not on worldly concerns - we too will be able to do like Jesus - maybe not walk on water - rather - spread his message of love and peace - offer hope and help to others - reassure others who are drowning in their problems. Like Jesus we are called - to give a hand up - a help out. Daily - God calls us to be more and more - Christ like. Today would be a good day to start.

Deacon Dale

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Loaves and Fishes and Thirsty Seekers

 In Today's Holy scriptures the first reading and Gospel seems to focus on earthly needs of people - thirsting - loaves and fishes - feeding 5000 - comforting the belly and the senses. That is not the true focus though - thirsting for God's presence - thirsting for God's blessing - water - wine - milk - honey - that which is needed by all - not always sought after by all. In the Gospel - rather than send people away who are actively seeking the Word - Jesus has them share a communal meal - a feast by some standards - five loaves and two fish - come sit and eat - share with each other the feast laid before you. To us - no feast - to people far from home - no food to eat - hungry - a feast. To be lonesome and hungry - to take and receive - to share from your need - the fragments of yourself - with another - is a reflection of the communion of man.

Besides the apparent miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish - besides the miracle of the ability to feed 5000 - and more - only men were counted - the miracle -  that those who had none - when they finally had their hands on some food - chose to share - rather than hoard - chose to be civil - rather than rude - chose community - over self. Today Jesus calls us - each of us - to share what we have - no matter what - no matter how much - to share in Love - to share as community - thinking of all - not self. We are called to be Christ like - we are called to diakonia - to service - to those - we know - to those we do not know. Called to serve - who will stand - who will respond - who will make themselves uncomfortable - to make others comfortable - Jesus knows.

Deacon Dale