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