Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas 2020 The Celebration That wasn't

This year the normal celebration of Christmas was anything but normal. Travel canceled - church services - canceled - simplified - family gatherings - on hold.  The pandemic that was suppose to be under control - still raging its ugly head - every where.  Needless to say - most likely the biggest disappointment of 2020.  However - there were moments - unmatched in previous years - that managed to bring joy - peace into many lives. 

Jesus told us that He didn't promise us a rose garden - often He reminded us that there would be tests - trials that we would have to endure.  2020 has been a giant trial - test.  He also told us that He would never leave us - that He would be with us constantly - throughout 2020 - time and again - He has proven that.  With God - Jesus - Our Savior all is possible.

Deacon Dale  

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Advent Goals

For the first three weeks of Advent we have been asking ourselves - are we ready to meet the Lord when He comes?  If our lives ended today - would we end up in heaven ? If we died today - where would we spend eternity?  For three weeks we have inventoried our lives - looking to our final destination.  Now in the Fourth week of Advent - our focus switches to Jesus - His birth -  what it means to us that God came down from the heavens to live with the very people He created - why He came as an infant - not an adult - why He chose to go through the birthing process - the growing process from child to adult - enduring - embracing the hardships - experiencing life - just as any ordinary human does.  To some these questions - very confusing.  To others - no issue - for a God who exists outside of time - 30 years a drop in the bucket - for we are told (2 Peter 3:8) "with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day",  Simply stated - for God who is eternal - outside of time - it was nothing - a blip in the calendars of the world.  Experiencing life just as His people - what better way to really get to  know them - understand them - understand what our needs were - the temptations we would face - the accomplishments we would experience.  

For with God - nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37) - what He desires for us - what He needs to do to help us - never impossible - knowing that He - Jesus is always at our side - that He fully knows our needs - we go forward as we end Advent - we go to the crib of our Lord - knowing that He is always with us.  In the crib - at our side - holding our hands - together we celebrate Christmas.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Unwrapping Your Cheer

Pink - Rose - Purple - on this Third Sunday of Advent the focus is not on the color of vestments worn at Holy Mass - rather - Joy - Happiness - Hope.  As people of hope we pause and reflect on where we might possibly find moments of joy - cheer - happy events that bring pleasure into our lives.  Advent - unlike Lent - which is a time of penance - is the season in which we reflect and review our lives and what we have accomplished - how good we are. In Advent  - we should focus on how we can improve - become better Christians .  All too often - others - meaning well - lead us on a path of discovery - focusing only on our failures - disappointments - wrapping the good - happy moments - in stories that overshadow any cheerful moments we could remember. 

Rather than focusing on our failures - we need to unwrap everything that is hiding the cheer that is in our life.  With the help of Jesus - we may see our goodness - too often hidden by guilt - anxiety - distractions - placed in front of us by the world.  As Christians we live counter cultural to what the world says is important.  People not things are what helps us unwrap our cheer.  As we continue our Advent journey - may all of us rediscover the cheer in our lives.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Road To Salvation

On this Second Sunday of Advent we hear - "Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God"  (Is 40:3) - prepare a path for Him.  We have been called to go before Him - to smooth out the path - to make clear for His feet - to prepare hearts - to hear His message - to be heralds of His message. The majority or us will ask - how?  How can we possibly do that?  We are not theologians - priests - deacons - not trained in Holy Scripture - not comfortable sharing our faith with others - not people of influence.  How may we do as He asks - as limited as we are?  In faith we go into the world - to walk a path of faith.

The reality of the matter - all of us have been called - through our baptism - we have been given everything we need.  We believe - therefore we can share what we know with all that we meet.  We are not called to debate - only to share our faith - our belief.  It is up to those who hear - to sort out our message - to digest it in their minds - hearts - to let the words we share grow within them.  Like farmers - we are called to spread seeds - to let God do the watering.  We share what we know freely in Advent because so many people are searching in these days for words of hope - inspiration.  Whatever path we take - Jesus will always be with us.

Come Journey With Us

Deacon Dale