Do Not Be Afraid ~ 19th Sunday

Jesus said to his disciples: Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.                          St. Luke 12:32-40

IMG_1736Jesus says it over and over, “Do not be afraid.”

Let us ask the question: “What am I afraid of?”

Jesus shares with us that if we open the door immediately when the Master knocks, he will have us recline at table and then wash our feet, and then proceed to wait on us. What could we possibly be afraid of?

God was knocking on Penny’s door. She volunteered to go to Kalighat, a home for the dying run by Mother Teresa’s sisters, for the first time. I suppose she was intrigued by the love of the Missionaries of Charity. It was terribly traumatic for Penny—being a beauty therapist, she was used to everything being all nice and spick-and-span, smelling nice, so it was quite a shock. I am sure many of you can relate to this when you volunteered for mission work in a place like Haiti or Catholic Heart work camp. Or maybe the first time your first child had diarrhea. When I began volunteering as a retreat director for Ministries of Disabilities, the drooling, physical suffering, and people who violated my boundaries raised my anxieties. I had whopping headaches and emotional paralysis.

When one of the sisters asked Penny to wash this woman she just thought, ‘There’s no way. I just couldn’t.’ So the sister said, ‘All right, come with me,’ and she picked up this little bundle of bones, because that’s what this lady was, and took her into the bathroom. Even now it makes her cry—there wasn’t a lot of light in the room and she was absolutely catatonic. Then all of a sudden the whole room just lit up! One minute she was saying ‘I just can’t’ and the next she realized, ‘Of course, I could.’IMG_2740

Throughout our lives, especially those here at Queen of Peace, we have worked among the poorest of poor, people with severe mental and physical disabilities, social injustice, Marines, sailors, soldiers and families torn apart by IED’s and shrapnel to the soul. Whenever we tell God there is something we just can’t do, like shave a man who does not have use of his arms, comfort the grieving, embrace a person with AIDS, tell a person we love them just before they will die, or work with schizophrenics or drug addicts… God seems to knock on the door of our terrified hearts. Then all of a sudden, light floods our darkness. We no longer label people as a diagnosis; we see the whole person light up. One minute we are saying, “I just can’t” and the next we realize, “Of course, we can!”

God doesn’t ask us to do things he isn’t already doing.

God is hoping that we do small things with great love.

God is hoping to find us ready when he knocks.

And then Our Father will welcome us home, wash our feet and invite us to dine with him and Our Family.

When God asks us to step out of our comfort zone and we do it,

we are always better for the experience.

Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom.

Now that is Good News we can treasure.

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Mission Statement of Queen of Peace

As Christians we receive God’s gifts gratefully,

cultivate them responsibly,

share them lovingly in justice with others,

and return them with increase to the Lord.DSCF0893

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Rich in What Matters to God?

     Someone in the crowed said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me.” He replied to him, “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?” Then he said to the crowd, “Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”

     Then he told them a parable. “There was a rich man whose land produced a bountiful harvest. He asked himself, “What shall I do, for I do not have space to store my harvest?” And he said, ‘This is what I shall do: I shall tear down my barns and build larger ones. There I shall store all my grain and other goods and I shall say to myself, “Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!”

   But God said to him, ‘You fool, this night your life will be demanded of you; and the things you have prepared, to whom will they belong?’ Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves but are not rich in what matters to God.”

                                                                                                St. Luke: 12:13-21

What Matters to God?

The key to the parable is learning “being rich in what matters to God.”

If we are driven to saving up for retirement while avoiding the term, ‘paying it forward’, the parable could apply. If I am so anxious about my kids’ college education that I fall short of the biblical tithe, the parable could apply. If I cut-off family and friends who have hurt me, bury the bitterness or resentment away and ignore the problem to live and exist in a fragile peace… Jesus may be reaching out to me in this parable today. Our desire for fame, legacy, pictures, larger iclouds, praise or respect could all be part of our trying to tear down our barns for larger barns and storage.

Jesus became poor and yet remained abundantly rich. This matters to God.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit matter to God: wisdom, knowledge, understanding, counsel, reverence, courage and a wonder/awe in the presence of God.

Jesus says you will know them by their rich fruit. This fruit matters to God:

It matters to God that each of us here bears abundant fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, self-control, and faithfulness.

Saving up for retirement is a wise thing to do, but not very wise if we neglect the poor, the oppressed and the grieving. Is it possible that God has given us the opportunity to produce very large harvests so that we can be instruments of God’s generosity, not our own?

If you received an unexpected and large inheritance, what would God want tyou to do? What would matter to God?

Would the voice of your desires be louder than the whisper of God?

How would you rationalize quitting your job?

How would you invest that money to share your joy with Jesus in the poor?

What matters to God?

Jesus inherited God’s abundant richness, but he cashed it all in for YOU and ME?

That alone mattered to God.

What matters to God is what matters to Jesus, his beloved Son.

We matter to Jesus.

Therefore, We matter to God.

Let us go out of this church with Jesus within us. Let us in our generosity; leave the security of Heaven in Church, and bring about Heaven on Earth.

Let us grow rich in our Love for One Another.

It does matter to God that we spend time with Him. It matters that we share our ups and downs, grief and joys, frustrations and resentments, need for security and fears. God cares… a lot.

In God We Trust is on our money.

What if we trust and share our money thinking about what matters to God…

Now that is what matters to God.

Touched by the Beloved

The Big Island of Hawaii ~ 5:21 pm~ Jan 21,2004

I am sitting in a crater

It is starting to get dark

I am all alone

Steam rising

Volcanic rock, singed grass

Rosary in hand

I am being contemplated by Yahweh!?

I am so insignificant

but love raises me up

a friend of Jesus

a brother

a father

a pilgrim

 

Alone, really alone

Where sounds are quite distinct

I can really hear the sound of silence

eerie yet gentle

Kindness, gentleness, generosity,

Patience, peace, faithfulness,

Self-control, joy, and love

 

This is quite awesome.

I love you God!

 

As a child rests in his mother’s arms even so my soul

 

Ron Moses, trust in the Beloved

both now and forever

In God you Trust!

wow and ooh and o my!

Ron Moses +   DSCF8809

 

The Following Night ~ 8 pm

 

I’m exhausted physically, spiritually and emotionally

God woke me up at 4 or 5 am…I can’t remember

Its okay, because it was my gain

 

A dark night, ah the sheer grace

I went out into the starlit darkness

My house all still

I had to resist leaving the place and time,

thinking of the future

and all the things I could do

on this incredible and diverse island called ‘paradise’

 

It turned out great

Yet, I noticed how tempting it was to leave

Here’s what happened:

 

Last year there was a lava flow into the ocean

It was hot, dangerous, fascinating and a once in a lifetime opportunity for me

I heard last night over a glass of wine that there was “nothing happening”

How wrong they were for

‘Happening’ is only the beginning

 

Truly I have set my soul in silence and peace

As a child rests in her mother’s arms

So too, even so my soul

I was awoken

I went out

Stunned by the star studded sky

I actually saw lava in the distance

Pele, the Volcano goddess, dancing in Red

 

So quiet, so, so silent

I was drawn to

the bottom of the road

where sea and land have been raging

heat of passion

But not now,

for I was alone

no other soul was awake

 

I stopped the Jeep,

I walked out over the lava now cooled

and departed from the safe trail

I could barely see,

forgot my flashlight

And then I stopped close to the sea

where the lava had erupted, yet now frozen

 

I prayed.

I started to pray without words or thoughts

It was as if I was led here without knowing it

My Father held my hand

and yet I still resisted

wanting to be somewhere else

God was patient, kind and gentle

God was loving, peaceful and joyful…

yes quite joyful

God was generous with gifts of creation and interior thoughts

God was and is faithful

and didn’t obliterate me

who in reality, i am, nothing

except when I am in the eyes of God

 

It is remarkable to me

How much God longed to meet with me…

this morning

alone?!

God loves me, and I have nothing to fear

God whispered my name:

“Ron Moses!”

Awesome.

 

And then in the middle of nowhere

on a lava flow

I obediently took off my shoes and socks

and I curled up in the arms of “Love”DSCF8816

 

I have never felt so at peace…so secure

The sun rose on me

As the Son rose within me

 

I curled up

I was just a speck in the universe, yet…

Whole

Anything else that could happen today was pure blessing.

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These pictures were taken with film that morning. Didn’t see until weeks later.

 

 

Funny, I’m at KMC Lava Lounge

(A military recreational lodging place that is inexpensive beside the crater)

Karaoke

Horrible yet wonderful

I’m sipping on wine, not annoyed, but pleasantly enjoying life.

 

This morning I made a simple altar of 7 rocks

worship, simple, pure

with my friend Jesus

I’m still almost in disbelief

Air cool

Sounds of water crashing into rock

Mysteries of Light

My Beloved turned my water into wine

Called, baptized, transfigured, devoured

with Jesus, my Beloved

“You are my beloved child, son, with you I am well pleased”

How could this be?

Because God took the initiative, that’s how

God loves us,

more than we could ever imagine

and God desires to spend lots of time with us

 

First Fruits –

Let the journey begin!

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Tapestry in Father John’s home. Father John was chaplain at Kings Point when I arrived in 1977

Soulful Prayer ~ 17th Sunday

IMG_5708Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

                        Father, hallowed be your name,

                           your kingdom come.

                        Give us each day our daily bread

                        and forgive us our sins

                        for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,

                       and do not subject us to the final test.”

And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give the visitor the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.

Jesus went on, “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?              

                                                                                                            St. Luke 11:1-13

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Jesus was praying. He doesn’t ask us to do things he wouldn’t do himself.

Jesus teaches us how to pray if we ask; real and sustaining prayer; prayer like food.

Jesus also informs us that as sons and daughters of the Father, we have an abundance of bread and gifts that the world is in desperate need of.

Prayers to God and Jesus are always answered. Prayers are not always answered the way we expect or desire, but they are always the absolute best answer. Why? Because God loves us as only a mother and father could. If we ask for a snake to eat, God most likely will give us a fish.

When we ask for something in prayer, do we always consider how our prayer will impact others? I am sometimes baffled how God could answer my trivial prayer to get over a cold before migrants and refugees who ask only to be treated with a drop of respect and drink of water. I shutter to think how our country cries over our health care details when our life expectancy is greater than most other countries that have none. Being rich is not a blessing as much as it is a responsibility. When much has been given, much is expected.

IMG_6174Our daily bread is a recognition and Eucharistic gratitude that we have the Creator of the world within our bodies and hearts. Therefore our prayer needs to be for wisdom (the first gift of the Holy Spirit), humility, joy and gratitude.

The serenity prayer says much about a true prayer. People who have hit rock bottom and are crying for mercy desperately pray it. “Lord, grant me the courage to change the things I can change, the acceptance of the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I accept that I can’t change how we human beings prophet from violence and from divisions like divorce and politics. What I can change is being more responsible for myself; becoming less reactive and more peaceful.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, generosity, self-control and faithfulness. All human beings can improve on this fruit. I’m praying for a bumper crop of love, joy and peace… in me!!! I am reassured that in tragedies like Orlando and Dallas and Baton Rouge, people still come together like they never knew they could.IMG_5785

God is more interested in our return to prayer than we are. It isn’t about the sins of others, but about my sins and my need for mercy. We simply need to listen and spend time with Jesus and continue to ask him to teach us how to pray better than we did yesterday. It all begins and ends with love. But our prayer will be uncomfortable.

I often take long walks on the beach and I pray. Often this song wells up from my soul:

There is a longing in our hearts, O Love, for you to reveal yourself to us.

There is a longing in our hearts for love, we only find in you o God.

 

For justice, for mercy, for freedom hear our prayer.

In sorrow, in grief, be near hear our prayer o God.

 

For wisdom, for courage, for comfort… hear our prayer.

In weakness, in fear, be near hear our prayer o God.

 

For healing, for wholeness, for new life… hear our prayer.

In sickness, in death, be near hear our prayer O God.

 

Lord save us, take pity. Light in our darkness.

We call you. We wait. Be near, hear our prayer O God.

                                    Song by Anne Quigley  1992

If you pray like this, I am confident that God, the Father, will not only hear your prayer, but answer it.

As a country, many knock at our door. Many are praying that we open our doors and see. Once I saw the poorest of poor in Haiti, Jamaica, the special needs and Honduras… I realized that I needed to bang on the doors of my friends for some bread (food and money). When confronted with over 1500 casualties and 81 deaths in Fallujah Iraq, I realized the 10,000 soldiers, sailors and Marines were pounding on the door of my heart for spiritual bread to make sense of the senseless. I was depleted and bankrupt of mercy. As long as we profit from wars, we will never be able to listen to the prophets. Although Jesus has given me an abundance of Bread and Blood, there came a time when I was the one pounding on the doors of my friends late at night for my friends and their families in need. I am still pounding!DSCF0372

In other words, my prayer is that I have the courage to open the locked door of my heart tonight and see the plight of the poor and hungry. Sometimes I have to be the beggar for the hungry, refugee, oppressed and poor like the friends who come to me in the middle of the night. God will provide.

Ah the dangers of praying as Jesus teaches us…

Do you think God might answer this prayer?

O my! & wow!DSCF2170

 

 

 

 

Hostility to Hospitality

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time ~ Hostility to Hospitality

Jesus entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.” The Lord said to her in reply, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” Luke 10:38-42

DSCF9030Hostility needs to transform into Hospitality. How often do we bring in a third party to solve our conflicts rather than working out our troubles with love, hospitality and understanding?

Martha had a valid complaint and concern for her sister Mary. Women of that time just didn’t do that kind of behavior. It is similar to how Saudi Arabia doesn’t allow women to drive a car even today. And yet some bold women have done just that. And they paid a terrible price. Remember the excuses men gave for women not being able to vote. Many paid a terrible price.

Mary was responding with her heart first. If she hears Jesus with her heart, she will later respond with her hands.

In our very turbulent and wounded world, the emotional response only heightens the anxiety. Martha was really anxious. Has anyone here been anxious about terror, violence, economics, relationships, teenagers or politics? Martha really wanted to sit and listen to Jesus, but she was programmed otherwise. It wasn’t Mary’s problem; it was Martha’s problem. Martha invited Jesus to her house (unusual for a woman) with joy. She believed she was going to be a great sacristan, Eucharistic Minister, altar server or lector or usher. But Jesus wanted to engage Martha’s mind and heart in the same way he connected with Mary, her sister. The Scriptures emphasize how Jesus loved these sisters very much.

Has this ever happened to you? Your generosity and hospitality turned to hostility? I know I have been caught. “Ron, Ron, you are anxious and upset about many things.” It is very hard not to get anxious these days. Psychologically, we know that if anxieties rise like in tragedies, conflict, atrocities or deadlines… thinking decreases dramatically and decisions are made with our emotions and reactivity.

I dunno. I wonder if Martha invited her sister Mary into her quiet space after Jesus left. “What did he say?” “How did you take it in?” “Did he like my matzo balls and leftover lamb?” If they had any conflict or hostility toward each other, it probably transformed into hospitality.

Jesus personally invites each of us to this Eucharistic celebration today. Some of us became the feet, hands, voice and heart of Jesus. His hospitality is outstanding, but his Word is divine! We welcome people through the penitential cleansing and baptism. We serve the Word as lectors. We are busy with live entertainment and musicians. We are stewards of our time, talent, treasures, AC, electricity and nutritious donuts. We experience the most incredible bread and wine transformed into Jesus’ Body, Blood and Soul. All are welcome. This is a 7 Star restaurant!

After the banquet we go home, but not alone.

The Mass truly never ends. We take it with us.

Martha did eventually listen to Jesus when death and tragedy struck her home. Martha begged Jesus to come and heal her brother who was quite ill. Jesus couldn’t make it to her home until her brother was four days in the tomb. This time it was Martha who first threw herself at the feet of Jesus. “Lord, if you would have been here, my brother would not have died. Even now, I know that whatever you ask of God will be granted.” Jesus replied, “Martha, your brother will rise.” She replied, “I know he will rise, in the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus then caught her attention again. He broke through her anxieties. “Martha, Beloved Martha, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even if he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” Martha’s tears dried up and I imagine she looked Jesus in the eyes. “Yes Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.” John 11:17-27

Amazingly, Martha leaves Jesus there and calls her sister secretly saying, “The Teacher is here and asking for you.” These sisters truly love each other with no grudges. In all of the Scriptures, Martha is the only woman called twice by name. She joins, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, and Saul now Paul. And let us not forget the 7th call from the Son on his Cross. My God, My God…

Love

Insignificant…Not!

Martha received Jesus in her home. She then took Jesus with her. Or did Jesus take her with him?   When we leave today from this Eucharistic Banquet, we will welcome Jesus into the home of our hearts. Then we will hopefully discover that we are the ones invited to our own home where Jesus is reclining. We listen first like Mary and then we serve like Martha and Jesus. Remember that during the Last Supper, Jesus got up and washed his disciples’ feet. Let us do the same.

First love with your heart, then love with your hands.

This is what it means to love God, self and neighbor equally with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength and with all your mind.

And if we are going to live for all eternity, what stops us from living eternity today? All we need to do is welcome him into our homes. Don’t be anxious nor afraid.   Jesus wants us to know that he will be with us always as reflected in this song:

You shall cross the barren desert, but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety though you do not know the way.
You shall speak your words in foreign lands and all will understand.
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid. I go before you always.
Come follow me, and I will give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Song by John Michael Talbot
Bravo-Surgical

Let us pray for the people throughout the world subjected to terror.

People in places like Africa have been suffering for years. They too are neighbors.

Let us respond to terrorism with love and non-violence. Reactivity only leads to reactivity.

Caught Breaking the Spirit of the Law

Love with all15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

There was a scholar of the Law who stood up to test Jesus and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply,  “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? Luke 10:25-37

 We go over the speed limit.

We text while driving.

We cheat at work. We exaggerate on our taxes.

Shoplifting something small. Drink too much before we drive.

Texting at the dinner table or when dining with someone.

We don’t complete our homework and we are in class.

You take on a job and realize that although you graduated with honors, you didn’t learn the material.

What is our number one concern?

Jumping in Cuba

Getting caught!!!

Sometimes our behaviors are dangerous and can cause serious injury. But getting caught is our number one concern.

When we do get caught, we attempt to justify why we broke the law or can’t do the work. We blame, we squirm, we dig a deeper hole. Or like a good defense attorney, we find the loopholes. We get further and further away from the truth and ourselves.

Every Mass we come with gratitude and blessings.

We also come with a question similar to the scholar of the law.

“Jesus, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus throws the question right back at us. “You went through Catholic schools or a great confirmation class. You came into the church through RCIA. What is written in the Scriptures, how do you read it?”

We all answer the question intellectually correct. Some still answer as cradle Catholics or with the Baltimore Catechism. Some answer with a conservative, traditional or liberal bent.

We all answer correctly. “Do this and you will live.”

But then we attempt to justify ourselves because we got caught. It was only 5 mph over the limit.

We believe we love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind. We ask what is the minimum I need to do to get into heaven.

What does loving our neighbor with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength and with all our mind really mean?

How have you loved our neighbor who is often poor psychologically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually? Children are not born racist, violent, nor greedy. They are taught to be so. They do not have a choice. A puppy does not have a choice about whether they are mean or gentle. They simply reflect their master and their family. Behavior is automatic like stopping when the light turns red or crossing the street when we see trouble. But human beings have a choice. We choose a life in the Holy Spirit. But it takes great effort.

In the parable, we know nothing about the victim in the ditch except he was probably Jewish. We do know that Jesus loves this man in the ditch. That is why Jesus tells the story. He wants us to see him for who he is: God’s beloved son and our brother. St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta pleads with us that the poor and victims are Jesus in the distressing disguise. This victim probably had a family and friends. The ripple effect of this violent crime will carry for generations. We all have similar stories in our ancestry. How would the story be passed down if the man eventually died in the ditch? What if the antidote to violence in our world was mercy?

The victim’s grandchildren would tell the story of the merciful stranger who loved him out of the horrific hole he was in. Jesus was stripped, robbed, beaten and left for dead. Love prevented the story from being passed down as a tragedy. Jesus freed us from the bitterness. God loved us back to health. There will be times when we are in the ditch. I believe the victim and the Samaritan are no longer strangers. They are friends. The best of friends.

Jesus is in all victims: war and sleep cartoonHe is in the people escaping tyranny and war, immigrants, Honduran parents who empty their savings to send their children to avoid the gangs and drugs, drug addicts and those on the brink of suicide. Jesus is in Minnesota, in Louisiana, in Dallas, in Baghdad, in Turkey, in Brussels, in Paris, in Nigeria and Orlando.

The law will not get anyone into heaven. It just teaches us. After we graduate and clothed in the Holy Spirit, we must put our knowledge and skills to the test. God can heal the world, but he needs each of us to do our part, not just 10% which is the law. Christians are called to a much higher accountability because we live in the love of God. Love one another as our own son or daughter, father or mother.

We must love God, love self and love neighbor all equally. Love them equally and without judgment like the mother of nine children even if a couple of them forget to send a Mother’s Day card. We are one Body in Christ.

To love is to be compassionate with suffering and mercy.

Let Jesus help you to be more than you thought you were.

Bear fruit 30, 60 or even 100 fold. There are neighbors you will meet this week who are in the ditch. The grieving mother of a soldier or policeman, a community responding to hatred with insensible looting, a classmate whose depression has them on the brink, a woman who realizes her abortion is crippling her.

How we work here on earth for justice is how we work in heaven. We are instruments of God’s peace. What are we waiting for? With Jesus in our blood and heart we already experience the joys of heaven. This parable is a call. The harvest is great, but the merciful laborers are few.

May rivers of God’s Mercy flow through you every day.

May your neighbors become your beloved friends.

Mass is ended. Go in peace.

The Mass never ends, we take it with us!

PACHYDERMS: One Soldier’s Experience of the Vietnam War

It is so important to learn from history and the stories of our combat veterans. I re-blog this because it is important. After reviewing Pachyderms https://www.amazon.com/Pachyderms-Danny-Buoy/dp/0989002667 , Danny allowed his story to be “repackaged” so that it became a “polished diamond”. Let us continue to love one another.war and sleep cartoon

Father Ron's Blog

By Danny Buoy
Link to Pachyderms updated

This book was updated and edited and reads well. The story is truly a diamond

Review by Ron Camarda MWSA
January 26, 2012

Life after War

Pachyderms is a diamond in the rough. The book reads like a screenplay of a movie with substance…but better. The characters come alive, albeit complex, simple and surprisingly likeable, through the mind of a very gifted and clever author. St. Augustine’s Confessions came to my mind as I finished this book. Danny looks deeply into his own heart and soul and recognizes his own faulty judgments and foibles. The book is raw and demands that you feel, think about, experience and observe the fears, terror, boredom and blunt force of an illogical war. This is accomplished through the observations of a young new recruit who was overwhelmed by the inevitable deployment to an unpopular, seductive and perplexing Vietnam War. It…

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Reflecting & Reflected

Beauty all around me

Even sickness can be beautiful

Not me this time… my friend

morning stillness

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yet still wrestling

still restless

I am very at peace and yes, happy.

Completed my license requirements

Patiently waiting for the green light and rising question

“Now what?”

Gorgeous morning

Light in the trees

Coolness of house

Attempting to meditate beyond distractions

unawakened

awakened

purgative

illuminative

dark night of the soul

union… hoping

my soul feels at home

within soulitude

and Beloved God.

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Who do People say that I AM?

Gospel according to Saint  Luke 9:18-24

Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

They said in reply. “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the the ancient prophets has arisen.’”

Then Jesus said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.”

Jesus rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone.

Jesus said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

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What is the difference between a father and someone who donates the seed?

What is the difference between one who loves one’s neighbor and one who blames the marginalized, immigrants and poor for who they are?

What is the difference between Christ and those who crucify Christ… even today?

When Jesus asks, “Who do people say that I am?”

He is asking the same question.

His disciples answered correctly, but they did not accept the reality.

The only way to recognize Jesus in his distressing disguise is to see the reality of His wounds and suffering.

Pope Francis says that true fatherhood means giving life to others. To give life to others requires excruciating suffering and sacrifice.

To love Jesus means to suffer. His suffering becomes our suffering.

There were many false prophets in the time of Jesus, 99 for every 100. How do we know who is a follower of Jesus?

Jesus knows that if we accept the Cross of Suffering and follow him, we will also suffer greatly.

If we accept the Body of Jesus within our own bodies, hearts and souls we will suffer as Jesus suffers. We do this every week in Eucharist. We become what we eat and drink.

My own wounds of Jesus were profoundly revealed to me when I was forced into a horrific war. When Jesus pleaded with me to love like our father… those soldiers and Marines whose bodies were being ripped apart by shrapnel, hatred and diabolic explosions of the mind, body and soul… and their enemies, I wanted to balk.

To witness the death of one’s child would destroy me.

Jesus invited me to pick up my cross and follow His Way.

I never realized what it really meant to be a father until my spiritual sons and daughters suffered and died before me… even those sons and daughters who wished to kill my children and me, who I am.

Jesus loved all those who crucified him.

Jesus asks us to love those who hurt us and kill us.

As you reflect on our fathers today, see if you can recognize his sufferings and joy.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to OUR FATHER and OUR earthly FATHERS!

Can you see Jesus?

Can you see Jesus?

 

Remember what He said to you…

Easter- 2016 ~ Luke 24:1-12 ~ At daybreak on the first day of the week, the women who had come from Galilee with Jesus took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzling over this, behold, two men in dazzling garments appeared to them (Moses & Elijah of Transfiguration?). They were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground. They said to them, “Why do you seek the living one among the dead? He is not here, but he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners and be crucified, and rise on the third day.” And they remembered his words. Then they returned from the tomb and announced all these things to the eleven and to all the others.

The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James (Peter, John and James in Transfiguration); the others who accompanied them also told this to the apostles, but their story seemed like nonsense and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb, bent down, and saw the burial cloths alone; then he went home amazed at what had happened.

DSCF4128 I am amazed and humbled that with two phenomenal preachers here at Queen of Peace, I was asked to preach today like a third string quarterback. O well, pray for me!

We remember.

We celebrate.

We believe.

Jesus, we remember how you washed our feet. In his homily on Holy Thursday, Father Jeff helped us understand that it is you, Jesus, who consecrates and breaks the bread, feed our souls, baptizes and anoint us. You heal us so often even when we complain that we can’t find you.

Even though Jesus walked with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, they didn’t recognize him because they were too caught up in their own terror, fear and anxieties.

Their hopes were not as big as God’s hopes and dreams for them. But Jesus was patient and asked the two to remember all the way to their dinner table. They celebrated and believed when he said the blessing and broke the bread. Another miracle of Easter is that the men finally believed the women.

Though we don’t always recognize Jesus present in our sufferings and distractions, we do believe he is with us at this moment and for all eternity. In fact, Jesus can’t imagine heaven without every one of us today! We have trouble accepting such a magnificent love. Too often, we seek the living one among the dead.

The living one is seeking us today.

Jesus, we celebrate the breaking of your body and the water and blood that flowed from your side. When we are terrorized by hatred, unfaithfulness and betrayal, you show us how to love. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” and “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” Your sacrificial love is our only hope to end all wars, hatred and fear. Yes, it was a truly Good Friday.

Jesus, we celebrate how you eat and drink with us every time we come to Eucharist. “Lord, I am not worthy for you to enter into my body, but only say the Word, and my soul will be healed.

Here a million wounded souls, are yearning just to touch you and be healed.Gather all your people, and hold them to your heart.

We remember how You loved us to the end.

And still we celebrate, for you are with us here;

and we believe that we will see you when you come in glory, Lord.

We remember. We Celebrate. We believe.   (Song by Marty Haugen, 1980)

The key to Easter is that God loves us and wants to spend time with all of us. (Lots of time and for all of eternity).

It isn’t so much that we are seeking God, but God is seeking us.

It is through the birthing pains of our faith, the way of the Cross, that we understand this. When we encounter the empty tombs, keep searching. We must seek more diligently than the kids who will be seeking those Easter eggs in a few minutes, which might seem like hours to them. It is not an easy task, but with love of God and one another in our hearts… Jesus walks with us this Easter Morning today… even before we find him or recognize Him. He is alive with us… TODAY!

We remember his words.

We celebrate his love and mercy.

We believe how much God loves all of us… no exceptions.

He is Risen! Halleluiah!

WOW!

Let us raise our voices with Father Kaz.

Discover the Risen Christ, the Beloved, as we sing our Easter Joy with Hallelujahs…