Not Just Coin – Good News for November 22

22 11 2010

Luke 21:1-4

When Jesus looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”

The Daily Path: We can give from our wallet or we can give of ourselves. Certainly both types of giving are needed. Jesus points to monetary giving in this example but I think the message is broader than just coin. I’ve found that “being there” for someone in a time of great need can provide incalculable value. I’ve been on the receiving side and can tell you from my own experience that when things seem darkest receiving a note from a friend, an invitation for coffee, or a friendly call, can dig you out of the depths like nothing else. This type of genuine outreach keeps you going when the weight of the world feels squarely on your shoulders.

This week, as we prepare to gather as family and give thanks, perhaps it’s time to think about making one of those calls. Who can we share our spiritual wealth with? Who’s feeling alone or bearing the great weight of worry? Who could benefit from a little joy? Friends, I think our horn of plenty comes in all shapes and sizes. See what can be shared from your pantry of love.

Family Discount – Good News for January 26

26 01 2010

Mark 3:31-35

The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house. Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him. A crowd seated around him told him, “Your mother and your brothers and your sisters are outside asking for you.”

But he said to them in reply, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”

And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Daily Path: You’ve probably heard of “the family discount” in which someone provides a special consideration to you because they consider you a relative. Your formal status may only be that of a close friend but for purposes of a transaction you are counted as family. In today’s Gospel, Mark tells us of how Jesus demonstrated that the criteria of family goes well beyond blood relations.

Mary, Jesus’ own mother, the woman who is the role model for obedience to God, wasn’t going to go to the front of the line just because of their human genetic link between mother and son. Instead, Jesus says “Hey, I love these people, and yes, they are my family. AND so are ALL of you who have gathered here.”

As humans we are always trying to rationalize and fit our thoughts neatly into human criteria. I’m certainly no exception. As I interpret today’s Gospel, I see that the family deal extends to someone I don’t know who lives across the globe just as much as to my own genetic links right here in the house. It doesn’t matter if they eat worms and grubs, live in a cave, wear grass loincloths, and answer to the name of Rystamunchkanesta Ali de Hashimoto. It’s not a common family crest or genetic bonds that determine our brothers, sisters, and parental units in the family of God.

So to our old friend Stan, who couldn’t be bothered helping anyone who’s surname isn’t Doubtsall: “Get ready, Stan. Your family’s come to supper. And they are lined up outside the door, down the block, over the bridge, across the county, into the next state, and over the big pond.”

Asking Dad – Good News for May 22

22 05 2009

John 16:23-28

Jesus said to his disciples, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you. Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.

“I have told you this in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father. On that day you will ask in my name, and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you. For the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world. Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

The Daily Path: Prayer has become an important part of my life. The time I carve out for conversations with God is the best part of my day. It’s often the only place I find peace and true joy.

Now you might ask “What about your wife and kids? How do they feel about that statement? Aren’t they the most important part of your life? Don’t they bring you true joy”

My answer is this: The peace and joy my family brings me are part of my conversation with the Father. A conversation is not just words thrown about between two beings. A conversation is an intimate association. As such, my family is a huge part of that which is most important to me above all else… God. 

Room to Chat: Take a peace break today. Get up from your desk or work bench and ask “Dad” to go for a short walk with you. While you’re walking ask Him, in the name of Jesus, to bring you peace.

Postscript: Today my wife and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Anne thank you for allowing me to walk alongside you on the journey. Your unconditional love has made all the difference in my life. I don’t know why you put up with me, but I’m glad you do! I love you. 

Do You Believe In Miracles? – Good News for February 2

2 02 2009

Luke 2:22-32

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus 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 the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.”

The Daily Path: Yesterday, two parents followed the tradition of Mary and Joseph by presenting their children to the Lord. My wife Anne and I joined so many other parents who have asked God to welcome His children and hold them close through Baptism.

On this Feast of the Presentation, I want to thank God for making that possible. As recently as a year ago, I couldn’t have seen this day being so close. I’m grateful to all those who prayed that these children, and their parents, would set out on the path to God. Especially my own parents who presented me so many years ago and never stopped praying that I would return. And to all who have gone out of their way to welcome our family into the Catholic community and stand by us, I send my sincere and  heartfelt thanks. 

February 1, 2009 was the day that an entire family came together and was presented to the Lord. Do you believe in miracles?

Room to Chat: Find an opening in your day to let God talk to you. All He needs is the tiniest crack. Seconds you won’t miss, and can’t afford to miss.