Sunday, December 29, 2019

Holy Families

This Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family which was very fitting - the Sunday following the commemoration of the birth of the Christ child.  A birth - a man and a woman - the beginning of a family.  Jesus - Mary - Joseph - role models for all families - an example of what a new family might look like.  Clean linens - comfortable bedding - nursing care - inside away from the elements - a definite advantage for modern families compared to the conditions for the Holy Family.  
God blesses all families - the basic foundation of the communities of the world. Language -  ethnicity - climate - location - cultural differences may all vary - the basics always the same. Food - clothing - protection from the elements - all necessities of life. Even with differences one common denominator required - love.  Love shared between individuals - between families - between communities.  In God's eyes - all families are Holy.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Buon Natale - Feliz Navidad - Merry Christmas

Briefly - Merry Christmas - to everyone.  It does not matter if you are a Christian or not - the Celebration of Christmas touches everyone in one way or another.  I pray that however - whenever - wherever - your life is touched - that you recognize that it is the Hand of God - you are feeling.  God is always present to all of us - it does not matter what style of worship we practice - God is always here.

In this special Season of Christmas - may God's loving presence fill your life!

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Counting Down

Rocket launches - wedding dates - arrival of a new baby - starting a new venture - job - changing careers - all share that countdown until you actually begin.  Justly then we countdown the hours now until the official celebration of Christmas begins -  awaiting that time when we commemorate that moment in time when Heaven touched the Earth - when God was born among us - Emmanuel - the Christ Child.  Very soon - early this afternoon - into the early - late evening -  celebrations around the world - celebrating that moment.  As moments in time that need to be celebrated - this is that one moment that rises above all others.

Just the thought that God - all powerful - almighty - would lower Himself - to become one of us.  Thinking about it - causes a mountain of emotions to rise up inside - to a point that one must explode - in tears of joy - happiness.  It has already happened - but every year since -  that same emotion - catches most of us in the magic of that moment. Angels bending near to touch the Earth with their music - announcing - that Jesus Christ is born.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 22, 2019

May The Fourth Be With You

Yes it is here - the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  What seemed like ages ago - here already - lighting the fourth candle on the Advent wreath - this fairly short fourth week of Advent - ending quickly this Wednesday - as we celebrate the Birth of the Christ Child - Celebration of Christmas.  However - as liturgical seasons come and go - we should always be in a state of preparedness - waiting - for Jesus' Second Coming. We have been told over and over than nobody knows the day or the hour.  He might come again in the Fall - Winter - Spring - Summer - really any time of the year - definitely - the day we breathe our last breath.  No matter what we are enduring - celebrating - coping with - He may come.  Knock Knock - it's Jesus.

Time and again Jesus reminds us the He loves us - His Father loves us - Both - forgive - want to heal - always seeking to make us whole - if only we let Him. It is never too late to stop and review your individual life - what you have done - what you are doing - what needs correcting - made better. Most people - in good condition - minor improvements necessary. No matter where you stand exactly - you are in a good place - making changes very easy - if you only invite Jesus into your heart - let Him work in you.  Giving up - in this case - one of the best things you can do - let go - let God.

Deacon Dale 

Monday, December 16, 2019

Why I?

Recently I was asked what is the "I" in the "I Of God" - what do I mean.  It is very simple - when I write my posts - I write as an individual - not we - them - us - they - only - I.  It is my thoughts - musings - feelings that come to me.  No church - no parish - no official party to whom I owe anything - except - God.  For all I do - say - speak - think - I pray that all is acceptable to God - to Jesus - my Lord.  Let me make it very clear - I am a Christian - baptized as an infant - by my father and mother.  He the son of a Methodist minister - she an inactive Catholic.  Dad firmly grounded in his faith - Mom - turned off from her faith by a mean spirited nun - closed mind - closed heart - damaged my mother's faith.  It stayed that way until dad's premature death - dad dying as a son of God - mom - still questioning until one eventful day in the hospital - when a Catholic priest - with the love of Jesus firmly embedded in his heart - reconciled mom to her faith - her God.  I never met him but whoever he was - thanks - long over due.  When mom died - she died with her rosary and renewed faith.  I have always believed - never not believed.  I have questioned - argued - wrestled with God - but when His hands are so large that He holds the world in them - when His heart is so large that He easily forgives any sin - you just have to give in to Him - accept Him for what He Is - what He has done - what He will do.  Throughout my life I have had moments when times looked bleak - I never gave up - never gave in.  In my mind - heart - I have always known that He is there - standing at my side - even in my darkest hours - even when I chose to do things I shouldn't - He has been there.  I cannot think of a single moment when I thought He abandoned me - He has always been there - still is.

All  that I am - I owe to Jesus - to God - His Holy Spirit.  At my lowest moments - when I feel over looked - not allowed to do what I do best - I know He is there - allowing me to rest my head on His shoulder - sharing my disappointments - sadness.  Luckily - for whatever reason - those times - moments -  have been few and far between.  God has blessed me with a strong faith - a beautiful loving wife - sons that respect me - challenge me.  Today I paused and experienced a moment of sadness - my father's birthday - gone for 57 years now - he would have been 113 years old  - 57 years sharing in the glory that God promises all of us when we join Him in Heaven.  Today - although a bit sad - filled with the JOY that we look for during Advent - when we pray - Hope.  I have been blessed with a marriage that has been a constant joy for over 50 years now - 31 years blessed as an ordained Catholic deacon - looking to many more years of both.  I am the I - in the I of God - me and no one else.  What you read is me - my inner thoughts - mostly for myself - also for you who read these musings - the fire of God burning strongly in me.  I pray that you know Jesus as I do - if not - I invite you to seek Him - He is everywhere - anywhere - you need Him to be.  Praying that you too may see yourself also as the - I of God.

Deacon Dale

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Not My Monkey

Not my monkey - not my circus - same as - not my rodeo - not my bull. The Third Sunday of Advent - too many people not engaged in Advent - even at this point.  For two weeks now we have been trying to focus on our lives - what we have done - what we have to do - to be better prepared for that day when the Lord will come again - end times.  Advent is a Season of Waiting - so no surprise that so many are doing exactly that - waiting. Waiting to start - waiting to make changes - waiting to improve - doubtful that the end is near.  No one knows when that day or hour will come - eventually - through the course of natural events - the end of the world - all of us will experience a point in time when our life will end. Being prepared for that end - fully engaged - making changes - not my monkey - not my circus - your concern - not mine.

The end has been prophesied so many times - no one cares anymore.  Certain dates - come and gone - nothing happened.  I dare say that in between those prophesies - many people have died - left this earth - for what?  Heaven?  Hell?  Nobody knows for sure - we can only hope.  To that point Advent is really a Season of Hope - Hope that God is real - that Jesus really is God - that God - Jesus loves us - forgives us - heals us - leads us - to an eternal existence of future joy - peace. In Advent we wait and hope - nothing more - nothing less - it is - our monkey.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Second Verse Same As The First

The Second Sunday of Advent - same drum - same drummer - the story has not changed.  For the second Sunday we have been reminded that we need to be ready - awake - for none of us know the day - hour - when Christ will come again.  The time to be prepared has passed - it is basically now or never.  We have been called - that celestial bus is on the way to pick us up - the route has been cleared - the roadblocks have been removed - time to shower and clean up has passed.  Time to stand at the door and wait for His knock.  John the Baptist has warned us - over and over again - prepare the way of the Lord.  Unfortunately too many have closed their eyes - ears to the words of warning.
For those who have listened - redemption - for  those who have ignored the message - not heard the words - a dangerous place to be.  The reality - that bus may not come for years - or it might come today - bottom line - none of us know.  We pray for ourselves - for others - for family - friends - that they will have time yet - to prepare themselves.  For us - best to worry about our own lives - trust in God that He will - in His Divine Mercy - grant the rest the time needed for themselves.   

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Burning Candles

Advent - the season marked with candles - purple - pink - white.  This Sunday - the First Sunday of Advent - lighting the first of three purple candles - a flame burning brightly marking a new liturgical year - the beginning of many different seasons in the Christian calendar. As we begin a new liturgical year it is only fitting that we start with the season of Advent - a time to acknowledge the Second Coming of Christ - that end time when Jesus will appear to call all just people home to be with Him - His Heavenly Father.  In Advent we are reminded that no one knows that day or hour - reminding us of the need to be constantly vigilant - to be prepared to meet the Lord when He comes.  Just as with any project - event - the need to assess where we are - what needs to be done - before the main event occurs.  In these four short weeks we will be reminded that the time is short to make sure all is ready.  This focus is very apparent during the first three weeks - in the fourth week the focus turns to the time of preparation to once again make ready for the celebration - commemoration of the birth of the Christ child.  

Any event worth participating in requires that whether we are in charge or only a participant - a need for some level of preparation. Taken seriously we can achieve all that is needed.  Cleaning up our lives - making sure that all is in good order - easier than most would think.  Impossible as it sometimes may seem - with Jesus - all things are possible.

Deacon Dale