Good News for the End of 2008

31 12 2008

John 2:18-29

Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that the antichrist was coming, so now many antichrists have appeared. Thus we know this is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not really of our number; if they had been, they would have remained with us. Their desertion shows that none of them was of our number. But you have the anointing that comes from the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you do, and because every lie is alien to the truth.

Who is the liar? Whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Whoever denies the Father and the Son, this is the antichrist. No one who denies the Son has the Father, but whoever confesses the Son has the Father as well. Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you. If what you heard from the beginning remains in you, then you will remain in the Son and the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us: eternal life.

I write you these things about those who would deceive you. As for you, the anointing that you received from him remains in you, so that you do not need anyone to teach you. But this anointing teaches you about everything and is true and not false; just as it taught you, remain in him.

And now children, remain in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not be put to shame by him at the coming. if you consider that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him.

The Daily Path: As the final minutes of 2008 tick down, I reflect back on all that has happened this year.

On Easter Sunday I felt God’s voice calling me home and was inspired to once again practice my Catholic faith. Since that day I can honestly say that I have experienced the greatest joy even though the year has brought previously unkown hardships. God’s love and mercy have been evident everywhere. We’ve been blessed by another child due in March. Family and friends have rallied around with unimaginable generosity to help us weather the storm. Most importantly, God is holding his arms open to embrace my wife and children. There will be three baptisms in February and hopefully three more to follow. 

As I close out Good News To-Go! for this year, I pray that God will continue to touch each of you as He has “from the beginning” and that you will “remain in him”  by opening your mind and heart to His love. The little boy who wore a green parochial school sweater for so many years finally came home in 2008. Will you join me? Just give God a chance. What do you have to lose? 

My friends, may the peace and love of Christ be with you in 2009.

The Triple Crown – Good News for December 30

30 12 2008

John 2:12-17

I write to you, children, because you know the Father.

I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.

I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God remains in you, and you have conquered the Evil One.

Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.

The Daily Path: Lust. Enticement. A pretentious life. 

I don’t have to look far to see how this triple crown of spiritual doom reigns in this world. All I have to do is read the news or watch television. Come to think of it, all I have to do is look within myself. As painful as it might be to admit, all of these exist within me. One of the great things to come out of my recent struggles is seeing the pretentious life for what it is. A big lie. 

I’ll never be a monk, nor do I aspire to live that life, but I can be mindful of what I do aspire to and how I can live a good (pleasing to God) life. 

I usually don’t skip ahead to the following day’s readings, but I had to read the rest of John’s letter. I’ll share this tomorrow because I think it’s important in these troubling times. 

Blind Eye – Good News for December 29

29 12 2008

John 2:3-11

Beloved, the way we may be sure that we know Jesus is to keep his commandments. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to walk just as he walked.

Beloved, I am writing no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard.  And yet I do write a new commandment to you, which holds true in him and among you, for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. Whoever hates his brother is in darkness; he walks in darkness and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

The Daily Path: The Gaza. Pakistan. Mumbai. Iraq. Congo. Afghanistan. Israel. Covina. Richmond. Oakland.

What relationship in my life keeps me outside the light?

Good Coming To A Theater Near You – Good News for December 28

28 12 2008

Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, They took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord”,  and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons”, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit  that he should not see death  before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus  to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,  “Behold, this child is destined  for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted  —and you yourself a sword will pierce—  so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

There was also a prophetess, Anna,  the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple,  but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time,  she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child  to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;  and the favor of God was upon him.

The Daily Path: Over the past two days I’ve spent an unusual amount of time in couch potato mode while dealing with a virus that Santa delivered in my stocking. In that time I’ve done the only two things I’m capable of at the moment, sleep and watch television. I couldn’t help but notice one ad for a film titled The Unborn. The movie has something to do with evil trying to take hold of someone. This ad, with its graphic images of evil at work, plays over and over… usually the sign of a bad movie.

What struck me was this: Why is the onslaught of evil so often glorified? Why can’t Good News be a screenplay worthy of Hollywood’s millions and its mighty marketing machine? Why can’t the audience of evil change its taste?

Seeing The Life – Good News for December 27

27 12 2008

John 1:1-4

Beloved: What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we looked upon and touched with our hands concerns the Word of life for the life was made visible; we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was made visible to us what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; for our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We are writing this so that our joy may be complete.

The Daily Path: I’ve seen the life and can proclaim it.

Beep! Beep! – Good News for December 26

26 12 2008

Matthew 10: 17-22

Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of men, for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues, and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say. For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end will be saved.”

The Daily Path: If you’ve ever purchased a new car you may have noticed that suddenly you gain a heightened awareness of that same make and model of automobile. Before the purchase you never paid attention, but now that you are in the club your internal radar picks up that vehicle everywhere you go. Some are even waving and tooting their horn at you… in a nice way.

I’ve found the same to be true with my faith. I seldom noticed how many people of faith were in the room, nor did I care. Upon my own renewal in the Catholic faith, they seem to be coming out of the woodwork. And it’s not just the Catholics, the presence of Christians in all makes and models are suddenly making themselves known. And it’s not just the Christians, people of faith are all dropping in to my life. 

I’m throughly enjoying these new opportunities for engagement that never existed before. It’s also cause to give thanks for not only the obvious benefits but also because I can openly engage in these conversations. That’s not a given everywhere. 

I won’t be walking around with a name tag that says Hello, I’m Catholic, but I will be delighted to see another faithmobile driving around the neighborhood. Go ahead and toot your horn at me. Don’t worry, I’m not going to crash into you with a barrage of God Squad dialogue. It’s just nice to know you’re out there and that God is with you. Beep! Beep!