Sunday, August 25, 2019

Heaven's Gate

In today's Gospel Jesus instructs us to strive to enter by the narrow gate - not an easy task for most.  His reference to the different sized gates surrounding the city.  During daytime the large gate - suitable for both people as well as pack animals - camels loaded with large baskets - open to all - closed at night for security.  Once closed only the very small gates - passages - available for passage - people only - no baggage - no goods.  To get into the city one can only enter with the clothes on their back.  

When it comes to any of us entering the gates of heaven - very similar - we enter as we are mostly naked - no possessions - nothing extra.  That includes the excess baggage we all carry with us - sins - guilt - fears - doubts - anxiety - unbelief.  To enter heaven freely - one has to trust in the Lord - give up everything and enter just as one was born - naked - trusting completely in the Mercy of God - trusting that He will heal - forgive - accept us - just as we are.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Fire In The Hole

This Sunday we heard about Jeremiah being thrown in a cistern that was full of mud - no water - bad design - bad plan - king couldn't stand the heat Jeremiah was putting on him to treat his subjects properly as God demanded - Jeremiah on fire to move the king to action.  In the Gospel Jesus says He has come to set the world on fire - to get people motivated to follow His Father's plan.  Both the heat from Jeremiah and the fire from Jesus - not literal - rather a metaphor - seeking to stimulate people into action.

In Jeremiah's case - thrown in a hole - into a cistern .  With Jesus - attempting to kindle people from complacency to action.  The fire in the hole - the fire on Earth - all actions of the Holy Spirit.  The goal of these scriptures in the Liturgy today - to stir the fire of the Holy Spirit - in all of us to become active disciples of Jesus.  To move ourselves from a place of comfort to a place of discipleship - where we go out and share  the Good News with all we meet. God calls all of - to spread His fire that is inside us.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Crowning A Queen

The coronation process for Kings and Queens is a very formal lengthy process - many protocols must be followed - dotting every i - crossing every t.  When all is said and done - hundreds - thousands of guests - dignitaries - in attendance - lots of pomp - fuss - grand parties - celebrations - to mark the event.  The aftermath - a new Royal - one to look up to - to emulate - to show respect towards. 

Today in churches around the world - Catholics honor - reverence the one True Queen of the World.  A simple maiden - born not of royal blood - special only to God - God who chose her to bear His Son - to be entrusted with the most precious jewel to grow in the tabernacle of her womb.  As a Virgin - unstained - she accepted the Angel's request - granted permission that allowed God to use her - to become the God with flesh on.  Throughout her pregnancy - she lived a normal humble life - climbing mountains to visit her cousin Elizabeth - to help Elizabeth through her pregnancy - returning home after many months to  finish her own pregnancy - to finally delivering Our Lord to the World in a small smelly manger because  there was no room at the inn.  Mary was there from conception to the Cross.  She brought Jesus into the world to nurture Him - teach Him - walk with Him as His first disciple - to sit in the Upper Room - to stand at the foot of the Cross - to dress His body at death.  As the One woman - the Mother of Jesus - as our example of Disciple - she was crowned not in a pompous event - rather in the blood of her Son - as Queen of Heaven.  Today Catholics around the World honor Our One True Queen.

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Who Would Be King?

For so many people  - the most important thing in their life is to be the head person - the leader - the chosen one - president - to be King.  To them it does not matter how they achieve that goal - devious action - lies - schemes - manipulating the truth - no shame in falsely attaining their top dog status - as long as they become King.  Once at the top - once King - they rule with themselves only in mind.  A true King rules with compassion - seeing the value - importance of those below them.  A false King - blind to all others - seeking only that which is personal gain to  them.

In the movie - The Lion King - the King's brother - filled with jealousy - conspires - eventually  seeing his brother die - falsely placing the blame on the King's heir - essentially banishing him from the pride - that he may take his brother's place as the new king.  As in  other stories -in this vein - the brother eventually pays the price for his schemes - evil actions - with his own life.  The banished son - the heir apparent - rightfully crowned King after enduring much hardship.  Moral of the story - to be King carries a great responsibility of caring for others - not one self.  As the Son of God - Jesus - heir apparent - crucified - tortured - left bloody on the Cross - now rightfully - King of Life.  To know the King is to serve the King - not for self - rather for others - in serving we bring life in the fullest to those who need it most.  All of us are called to be modern disciples - servants of our Lord and King - Jesus Christ.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, August 11, 2019


You know the scenario - you are having a discussion with someone or perhaps you are involved in an activity - when out of the blue you are either physically or emotionally attacked with no warning.  One minute you are having what you believe to be a friendly casual conversation - when suddenly something is either spoken or your mind realizes that you are being attacked.  The worse part - an accusation made - no chance to face the accuser - no chance to rationally discuss the situation - from some previous months.  Judgement has been made - no witnesses - no defense - tried - convicted - decision made.  What most rational people would call rushing to a conclusion without listening to both sides - unfair - unjust -completely justified by the one before you.  Conversation closed - no further discussion allowed. 

That is a little bit what we heard in today's Gospel - be ready - be prepared - you never know when final judgement will be made. At least in the Gospel - a warning given.  Those who hear and understand - given the time - the courtesy of preparing themselves - modifying their lives- so everything may be in order.  God is just in His actions - unfortunately - many people are not.  Luckily being blindsided by another person - not usually a critical event - more of an insult due to their lack of empathy.   When something important is about to happen - God sends His messengers - gives a sign - fair warning.  None of us know the day or the hour - so imperative that we live our lives - prepared

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Enough Already!

Yes - Enough already - stop it - stop!  In today's Holy Scriptures all three scriptures point to one thing - look at what is above - what is important - not what is below.  In the first scripture vanities refers to all the things that we tend to focus our attention on - both good and bad - how many good things - how many bad things - that we have in our lives - things that may vanish in an instant - in God's mind not of true value.  The second scripture and third continues this exact theme - do not worry about possessions - how many you have - where to store them - what you might do with them in the future.  For - as in the Gospel - we never know when God will call us from this place - and to whom will those possessions go?  In the Gospel ther farmer wanted to build ;larger buildings - in the midwest we love silos - big silos - lots of silos - to store the abundance of our crops.  Some to store - to dry - to prepare before moving to sell.  Others to store our grains - holding for a time when the value of those grains may be maximized.  Farmer or not we all have treasure - treasure stored in various places.  Banks - stocks - bonds - buildings - vehicles - all stored in our personal "silo" where we can sit and admire the physical wealth they represent.  But all of that - no matter how much - has no value in our life as spiritual creatures - as children of God - who cares less about what we have - compared to what we have not.  To God our most important possession is our relationship with Him - with His Son - Jesus.  He wants us to know HIM - to know His LOVE - PEACE - FORGIVENESS - ACCEPTANCE.  If our personal silos are not filled with these things - then we are the poorest of the poor - a sad lot to be sure. I love it when I am in Arizona.  So many days after being so busy - God paints the sky with such beautiful sunsets - a gift for all to see - a painting - saying job well done - enjoy my sky. These are the things that I put in my silo.

Our parish is currently part of the Divine Renovation Project to recreate the Church - through targeted evangelization via personal contact - through use of the Alpha Program - by getting parishioners to stop and refocus their attention on getting to completely understand their relationship with God - and forming a personal relationship with Jesus.  Once accomplished - renewed through the power of the Holy Spirit - better educated - fully understanding what it means to be a disciple in this day and age - all are empowered to take the mission of Jesus into the streets - to anyone who will listen.  In our parish we have seen the fruits of our labors as new people come to join our parish - as neighboring parishes come to see what the excitement is all about - asking us to help them renovate their own parishes to move from a maintenance model of a status quo - to a revitalized model of active evangelization.  Becoming a true disciple of ChrIst is very easy - as long as one focuses their yes on what is above rather than what is of Earth.  Yes - some possessions are expected and fine - they only become a problem when they take our attention away from the One who made them available in the first place.

We all have a "silo" where we store our special possessions - how big is Your silo - and what does it hold?

Deacon Dale