Things Could Always Be Worse

Things Could Always Be Worse

“Friend, I am not cheating you! Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?”

You’ve been working for this landscaper for five summers now. You’re going back to school in a few weeks and you’ve asked for extra hours. The owner assures you he will do what he can. But one day a new guy shows up and starts work — and the pos­sibility of your working extra hours is out. “Guy’s wife just got laid off,” your boss says, introducing him. “I’m trying to help him and his family by taking him on for a few hours a week.” So much for loyalty, you think.

The task of taking care of your elderly parent falls pretty much on you. Your brothers and sisters live a distance away. They all call from time to time to see how Mom is doing and express their concern, but none of them are in any position to provide the necessary day-to-day help. “They all have problems of their own,” Mom says, “I just thank God for you.” Then mom dies and they all show up, grieving as if they’ve been there all along. And of course, Mom’s estate is divided equally “because I love all my children just the same— even though it’s your life that’s been turned upside down and you’ve borne the costs of caring for her. Though you would never say it, you seethe: It’s not fair. And you’re right. Continue reading

Humility

Humility

ProLifeCorner.com

“For everyone who exults themselves will be humbled, but the ones who humble themselves will be exulted.”

        There once lived a man so humble, that even the angels rejoiced at the sight of him.  But, in spite of his great sanctity, he didn’t even have the slightest idea that he was holy.  He just went about his humdrum and ordinary daily tasks, diffusing goodness in the same way flowers unconsciously diffuse their fragrance, and in the same way streetlights diffuse their glow.

        His sanctity lay in this – that he forgot each person’s past, and looked at him or her, as they were, and he looked beyond each person’s appearance to the very center of their being, where they were innocent and blameless and too unaware to know what they were doing.  Thus, he loved and forgave everyone he met – and he saw nothing extraordinary in this, for it was the result of his way of looking at people. Continue reading

The Sick and Dying

The Sick and Dying

“They stripped and beat him, and went off leaving him half dead.”

Today’s gospel speaks to us of Jesus’ great concern and love for the sick and dying. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus’ compassion and love for the sick shines through. In several instances, we read how Jesus cured the sick and restored them to friendship with His Father. The Church continues Jesus’ ministry of caring for the sick and dying with deep compassion and respect for human dignity.

The Church especially continues Christ’s ministry to the sick and dying through the Sacraments. In offering the Sacrament of Penance, the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum, which is Holy Communion of the Sick and Dying, the priest brings to those who are ill the loving and redeeming embrace of Jesus. In these moments rich with grace, the priest acting in the Person of Christ brings to the patient, forgiveness, inner healing and strength for what lies ahead. Together with deacons, religious, lay ministers, and volunteers, the priest shares with the patient, and with the patient’s family, the Good News of Jesus, the Gospel of life and salvation. Through the grace of God, patients are enabled to unite their sufferings with the Lord’s so as to share His everlasting joy and glory. So also the Church reaches out to families facing the serious illnesses of loved ones with deep respect for the precious gift of life and with the hope for the gift of eternal life. Continue reading

The Harvest Is Rich, But The Laborers Are Few.

The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few.

The world famous golfer Tiger Woods was once given a piece of advice by his father: “My dad once told me: no matter what anyone says or writes, really, none of those people has to hit your four-foot putt. You have to do it yourself.”

Perhaps what Mr. Woods senior meant is that there are some things we can only do ourselves regardless of other people. In a slightly different vein is the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” It can be said by exasperated parents who have sent their child to the shop to buy something and the child comes back with something quite different: or perhaps by boss whose staff doesn’t come up to snuff. Self-reliance and a willingness to do things for ourselves may be admirable traits. Indeed, there are some things that we just have to do for ourselves. Continue reading

Making Excuses

Making Excuses

ProLifeCorner-   “And to another [Jesus] said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

And Jesus said to one, “Follow me.” And he replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I check the day’s market reports.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your concern for the poor and destitute does not match your concern for your portfolio.

Jesus said to another, “Follow me!”

And she replied, “I will follow you, Lord, right after I meet with my accountant to set-up my 401-K.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if your eternal life’s vi­sion cannot see beyond the age of retirement.”

Jesus said to the teenager, “Follow me.”

And the teen replied, “I will follow you, Lord, as soon as I get back from soccer practice, meeting my friends at the mall, and updating my Facebook page.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciple if it is just another something on your schedule.”

Jesus said to the mom and dad, “Follow me.”

And the parents said, “We will follow you, Lord, as soon as we are assured that our child is loved and cared for.”

But Jesus said, “You cannot be my disciples until you realize that to love and care for your child is to be my disciple.” Continue reading

My Sheep Hear My Voice

My Sheep Hear My Voice

4th Sunday In Easter

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me …”

Every evening she could hear the newborn in the apartment next door cry and cry. The parents put the child to sleep alone in the dark. The baby cries for a long time; the exhaust­ed parents clearly are oblivious to their child’s anguish or are at a loss as to what to do.

What can or should she do? She’s not sure. Speaking to the parents might make what is just an annoying situation into something much worse.

So, in her struggle and anguish, she decides to pray.  And lo and behold; during her earnest prayer, God’s good grace inspires her to sing! Continue reading

Prayer for our Pastor

Prayer for our Pastor

Lord Jesus, Eternal High Priest, we worship You, our Head.

We thank You for our pastor who shares in Your one Priesthood, who acts in Your stead, and who is the instrument of bringing Your Presence to us.

Strengthen him, Lord, in times of trial, be his consolation in times of loneliness and give him the joy of seeing the fruits of his labors.

I will pray for him and assist him as I am able, for You bring many graces and blessings to me through him.

Amen. Continue reading

Marriage is a Vocation and a Sacrament

Marriage is a Vocation and a Sacrament

ProLifeCorner-

“ … there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage with His disciples.”

A young woman is set up on a blind date with a young man – a pediatrician.   He comes across as nerdy and awkward, a shy, stumbling conversationalist who spills soup on his tie during dinner.  As the woman is contemplating faking a headache and asking to be taken home early, the doctor’s beeper goes off. He is called to an emergency and invites her to come along, since it was on the way to her home. Seeing him interact with a sick child, she discovers a tenderness in him that surprises her and she begins to speculate about what sort of husband and father he might be. If he isn’t the man of her dreams that she hopes for, she wonders, maybe it’s time for her to change those dreams and expectations.

Today, we hear of the Wedding at Cana in Galilee, where Jesus performs His first public miracle at the urgent request of His Mother, the Virgin Mary! Continue reading