Sunday, September 29, 2019

Leaping Lizards

Walking any path - unobstructed - straight - smooth - easy for most everyone.  Walking a path that crosses a body of water - an open space below - also - easy as long as there is a bridge.  Walking a path that goes from one region over a giant chasm - impossible - unless a giant bridge exists - to allow the journey to continue. Quite often when the open space in the path is small enough - one may leap over - to the other side to safely continue onwards.  Too often - large spaces - too large for leaping lizards - even the most athletically gifted to attempt - a total barrier.  Perhaps one - like the Famous Evil Kenieval - might attempt the crossing on a motorcycle or other vehicle to propel themselves across.  For the majority - time to turn around - go back - attempt failed.

In today's Gospel we heard about the rich man - tormented in Hell - begging Father Abraham to allow poor suffering Lazarus to cross the chasm that separated them - for help.  Unfortunately - his fate sealed by his own selfish actions while alive - Lazarus being rewarded with the gifts of eternal life in Heaven - because he suffered quietly at the rich man's door.  A pointed reminder that how we live our own life will determine if we end up in Heaven or Hell.  For all of us - difficult - so easy to sin - easy to leave others out - to speak an unkind word - to close the door when it should have been opened - to spend a few minutes with the lonely - sick - homebound.  For those of faith - we trust in Jesus - through His Cross - the bridge that enables us to walk over those times - spaces - in our lives when we were not as good as we should have been.  The Wood of His Cross - the Forgiveness that He offers each of us - the Bridge to bring us from wrong to right - from selfishness to sharing the Gift of Faith that we received freely - to share with others among us. For God all things are possible - for all - a leap of faith.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Root Of All Evil

If I asked you what is the root of all evil - most would say - money.  That would be incorrect.  The root of all evil is the excessive love of anything - money - sports - study - food - gaming - music - art - knowledge.  Anything that is done to an excessive level - anything that takes our attention away from - God - is evil. Evil in the sense that we have allowed ourselves to become obsessed with - things. 

Being focused one hundred percent and more on anything is not good.  Even obsessive attention to God - would not be good - in the sense that in order to live life as intended by Our Creator - we must live life to the fullest.  Our priorities must be in correct order - first God - second our spouse and children - third family - fourth our occupation - fifth the church - and beyond that all the other areas of our lives.  We cannot allow ourselves to become so obsessed with - things - that we fail to pay attention to the others. Focussing obsessively on money - work - sports - takes our attention away from other things in our life.  How many people who are workaholics - moan the loss of their marriage - relationship with children - all because the focused all their energy on work?  How many people who were always at church - attending meetings - worshiping constantly - destroyed the relationship with spouse and children because they were never home?  The key to the wealth laid before us by God is balance.  Balancing all the things in our lives - keeping our priorities in correct order - so that none is ignored - that none becomes the only focus of our lives.  Jesus - God loves all the love and attention they can get - not at the expense in the others gifts He has given you. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Clean Sweep

A clean sweep in any contest refers to a complete - overwhelming victory.  Doing one's best - going far beyond the expected - winning against all odds - proving to the naysayers that victory is possible.  Clean sweeps are claimed often by sport teams - people running for election - anyone going against the odds.  In some situations - a strong dominant team - person expected to win - hands down.  In others where the competition is not dominated by anyone - clean sweep a sweet victory.

In today's Gospel we hear of the woman with ten coins who lost one - searched diligently - sweeping the floor - until she found it - rejoiced with others over her good fortune.  Also the shepherd who noticed one sheep missing from the flock - desperate to locate the one who was lost - eventually bringing it back to join the flock.  As we celebrated Holy Mass this weekend - our pastor - the leader of our flock - shared a story via an interview with one who had been wandering lost for years - now brought into the flock of believers.  His story as one on the outside - apart from the community of believers - having been invited numerous times to join the flock - finally - through circumstances beyond his control - forced to contemplate his relationship with God - finding in that time - all that had been missing in his life.  Now a member of the community enjoying all the benefits of Christian unity - a clean sweep in his life.  God calls each of us - Jesus - stands at the door of our heart - knocking (Rev 3:20)  - patiently waiting to be invited in.  In time - all will experience the joy of Christian fellowship - the biggest clean sweep - in anyone's life.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Celebrating Life

Life is definitely worth living - living to the fullest - enjoying all that the world has to offer - all that nature offers - all that God offers.  In today's Gospel - it appears that Jesus is telling us to abandon all that we have - even ourselves - in order to follow Him - to become His disciple.  In typical Jewish tradition - what you hear - what is spoken - has to be clearly understood - to get at the real meaning.  Some might call it double speak - saying the opposite of what you mean - answering a question with a question - using misdirection to get others to focus on the real subject at hand. In writing - a literary tool - in speech -  like in magic illusions - making people think outside the box - going deeper - looking at what is not clearly seen.

To die to ourselves - to forget about others - is not dying - not forgetting - rather redirecting our attention - first to what is truly important - our relationship with Jesus - with God.  Once we have refocused on God - we will see that following Jesus as His Disciple - our attention has to be focused on others - their well being - their comfort - helping them before we help ourselves. Our needs can wait - be put on hold - while we help others to see value in their own lives - to bring them closer to God - to appreciate every day of their life.  All too often we only celebrate life after someone has died - the reality - we need to celebrate all lives - everyday - while they - we - are living. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Getting High

Nobody likes feeling low - down - depressed - unhappy.  In a similar vein nobody enjoys being the last to be picked for the team - the last in line - the final one to be served. Being last almost always creates a feeling of unworthiness - being less than than you would like.  Everyone appreciates being lifted up - made to feel better - important - recognized - sitting in the place of honor.

In today's Gospel that is exactly what Jesus was talking about - humble yourself and take a less significant place at the table with the possibility that you may be called forward - to join others at the head table - being recognized as special.  It is not only the host at a dinner or party that has this responsibility - this is something that falls on each of us.  As we go though our day - each of us is asked to notice those who have been left behind - ignored - cast to the side. Not only notice them - also to do whatever is in our power to help raise them up - to elevate their spirit - to welcome them - to raise them up to a higher place.  In doing so we not only raise that individual up - but ourselves also as one who appreciates the value of others.  To get high - raise others up - just as Christ was raised by God His Father - we too - through our acts of kindness - can also - get high.

Deacon Dale