I Am Grateful – Good News for November 27

27 11 2008

Luke 21: 20-28

“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it; for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.

Alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! For great distress shall be upon the earth and wrath upon this people; they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led captive among all nations; and Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth distress of nations in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 

When these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”

The Daily Path: On this day of giving thanks I’d like to share my Gratitude List.

I’m grateful for my renewed faith in Christ. I’m grateful that He reached out and touched me when I was a stranger and out in the cold. I’m grateful that I am once again able to “raise my head” and experience His love and share witness with others. I’m grateful for His mother, Blessed Mary, who continues to hold my hand and intervene on my behalf. 

I’m grateful for my wife and children, and the endless joy they bring. I’m grateful for having remarkable parents who offer unconditional love, unwavering support and life lessons that have formed who I am today. I’m grateful for the rest of my family and extended family.

I’m grateful for my friends, old and new, and the ones who have yet to enter my life. Their generosity, love and compassion has touched me deeply.

I’m grateful for my parish community.

I’m grateful for my health.

I’m grateful for my enemies and my failures, as they provide the opportunities through which I can grow. 

I’m grateful for the skills that have been given to me and pray that they may grow so that I can deliver what is being asked of me.

I’m grateful for the ability to once again see abundance where before I only saw want and despair.

I’m grateful that YOU are here and have taken a moment to reflect on Our Lord through this blog. I pray that God draws you closer to His love as He has done with me. 

Finally, thank you for the chance to share what I’m grateful for. May a special peace be with you throughout this day.

Kill the Turkey, Not ME! – Good News for November 26

26 11 2008

Luke 21: 12-19

Jesus said to the crowd, “They will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony.

Remember, you are not to prepare your defense beforehand, for I myself shall give you a wisdom in speaking that all your adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute.

You will even be handed over by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends, and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name, but not a hair on your head will be destroyed. By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” 

The Daily Path: Wow! The first 104 words of today’s Gospel are enough to make you turn tail and run away. It paints a grim picture of what you get as a follower of Christ. Seems much safer to open a box of Cracker Jacks to get your prize.

But in dying Jesus restored life. And we can do the same to gain Christ’s promise of eternal life after death. I’m not talking about becoming a Christian martyr, although that continues to happen, even today. I’m referring to allowing our ego (ME) to die so that we can really live as God wants us to. Remember our Thanksgiving Week theme? Matthew 25: 35-39 To pass the Final Exam requires a very small “me” and a huge WE. I don’t know about you, but I’m not very good at this dying thing. ME doesn’t like it.

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow will likely be a busy day for you. Traveling. Preparing a meal. Playing in the annual Turkey Bowl (ouch!). Because you won’t have much time tomorrow, will you join me today in spending a few minutes crafting The Gratitude List for 2008? 

Who and what are your grateful for this year?

It can be a short list of one or a long list of many. Hand written or a simple reflection in your mind and heart. Do it right now. Beat the rush!